Since 1887, the Museum has depended on volunteer help for many of its projects and much of its development. Today, more than 200 volunteers participate regularly, making important contributions to the Museum. Some volunteers come in daily, and many have served for 20 or more years!
If you are interested in volunteering at the Penn Museum, please review the volunteer opportunities listed and then submit an application for a specific opportunity. Applications will only be considered for these opportunities. For most volunteer positions the only requirement is an interest in archaeology, anthropology, and world cultures, a love of learning, and a willingness to make a regular time commitment, usually two to four hours, one or two days per week.
Description: Cartifacts is an informal, in-gallery public program that provides hands-on experiences for Penn Museum visitors of all ages. Cartifact Volunteers set up displays of five to ten touchable artifacts at carts located in the Museum’s galleries and explain the function and history of each object. Each cart is focused on a gallery theme. Cartifact Volunteers engage visitors in short-term discussions utilizing open-ended questions.
Required Training: Volunteers will be interviewed and introduced to all available carts. Volunteers will study the training manual of the cart of his/her choice for up to two weeks. After two weeks, Cartifact Volunteers will be tested on their familiarity with the objects and their ability to facilitate discussions with visitors about the material.
Qualifications: This volunteer opportunity is open to mature high school students and adults. An ideal Cartifact Volunteer demonstrates good listening and conversational skills, has enthusiasm for the material, and has knowledge of the Penn Museum’s collections and floor plan.
Requirements: Commitment for at least one day a week is preferred, but not a requirement. Cartifact Volunteers may schedule themselves to work for any hours during the following times: Tuesday-Friday, 12pm-4pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-4pm; or special evening events.
Survey Assistant Volunteer
Description: Help the Penn Museum fulfill its mission of engaging and educating the public! Survey Assistants intercept Penn Museum visitors in the galleries and distribute and collect prepared paper surveys and questionnaires.
Required Training: Volunteers will be interviewed and introduced to the surveys and the goals of surveying.
Qualifications: This volunteer opportunity is open to adults and mature high school students. An ideal Survey Assistant demonstrates good listening and conversational skills, exhibits a friendly personality, is comfortable interacting with strangers, and has knowledge of the Penn Museum’s collections and floor plan. Survey Assistants should be able to stand for 2 or 3 hours at a time.
Requirements: Commitment to volunteer at least once a month, for about 2 or 3 hours per month. Assistance is needed for weekend and evening events. Events may include any of the following: World Culture Days, evening PM @ PM events, Family Second Sundays, or Gallery Romps.
Volunteers may request VIP parking passes. They receive a 10% discount on purchases made in the Museum's shops and cafe. Volunteers are also encouraged to join the Museum as members, and new volunteers receive a 10% discount on individual or family memberships.