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Since 1887, the Museum has depended on volunteer help for many of its projects and much of its development. Today, more than 100 volunteers participate regularly, making important contributions to the Museum. Some volunteers come in daily, and many have served for 10 or more years!

The safety of our staff, volunteers, and guests remains our top priority. Penn Museum volunteers may not volunteer onsite if they feel ill, have been exposed to a case of COVID-19, or if they are not fully vaccinated.

Before arriving on campus, volunteers must complete a PennOpen Campus pre-screening on the day they plan to volunteer and present their Green Pass to their direct supervisor upon request.

Volunteers are required to wear a mask while indoors unless actively eating or drinking.

Volunteer Opportunities

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. The Penn Museum’s volunteer needs vary throughout the year. If you don’t see a position that is a good fit or of particular interest to you now, please plan to check back at a future time. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis unless otherwise noted.

"Cartifacts" Volunteer

The Penn Museum transforms public understanding of the human experience, and we are looking for volunteers eager to help us fulfill this mission! Cartifacts Volunteers have the opportunity to dive into the Museum’s collections and exhibitions, and then share their knowledge with our visitors through an informal, in-gallery experience. Cartifact Volunteers set up displays of five to ten touchable artifacts at carts located in the Museum’s galleries, and engage visitors of all ages in short-term, open-ended discussions about these objects. Each cart is focused on a gallery theme, and volunteers decide which subject area they’d like to explore.

Cart Themes
  • Life in the Early Americas
  • Mythology and Religion in Ancient Egypt
  • Daily Life in Ancient Rome
  • A Day at the Market in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean
Required Training

Volunteers will be interviewed and introduced to all available carts. Each volunteer will study the training manual of the cart of his/her choice for up to two weeks, after which they will be tested on their familiarity with the objects and their ability to facilitate discussions with visitors about the material.


This volunteer opportunity is open to mature high school students and adults. An ideal Cartifact Volunteer demonstrates good listening and conversational skills, enthusiasm for the material, and knowledge of the Penn Museum’s collections and floor plan. We are actively recruiting volunteers who can give time over the weekends.


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.