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!
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.
Visitor Services Pathfinder
Description: The Penn Museum is embarking on a major Building Transformation that includes significant renovations to our public spaces and galleries. Since we are not closing the Museum during these changes, we need additional support to help guests navigate our space and gallery closures. The Visitor Services Department is seeking volunteers, Visitor Services Pathfinders (VSP) to assist in providing Museum visitors an outstanding guest experience while the building undergoes improvements.
The Visitor Services Pathfinder (VSP) will assist guests in the galleries, by helping them find the best route to reach the exhibits and museum amenities they wish to see. The VSP will also support the Visitor Services Department staff in welcoming guests to the Museum and informing the guests of the programs, events, policies and amenities of the institution.
Required Training: All applicants must pass an in-person or phone call interview with the Visitor Services Department Managers before beginning training. VSPs are expected to attend two 3-hour training sessions with the Visitor Services department, and engage in individual practice.
Qualifications: A successful candidate should have experience in working with a diverse variety of audiences and must be friendly and welcoming. Customer service experience and the ability to work in a hectic, fast-paced environment is extremely beneficial. A successful candidate must be able to work as part of a team and individually as the situation demands. Knowledge of the Penn Museum and foreign language ability is a plus, but not required.
Expectations: VSPs are expected to work at least one shift a week (approx. 2-3 hours, during regular museum hours, Tuesday – Sunday) and attend a quarterly two-hour Visitor Services Department meeting to stay up to date on changes within the Museum. They are expected to be moving constantly through the Museum galleries while on duty. In addition, VSPs should understand that, while volunteering, they represent the Penn Museum to the Museum’s guests, and should conduct themselves as such.
Applications are due March 1, 2018 and training will begin mid-March.
Volunteer Mapping Assistant- CAAM (Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials)
Description: As part of a project to analyze archaeological research in Turkey, we are looking for someone who is interested in the past, in mapping, and in learning new digital skills! This volunteer would work with a comprehensive set of publications about archaeological research in Turkey over the last forty years. For each publication, we will take the map out of the paper book (from the pdf) and georeference this in Geographic Information System (GIS) software. Then we will trace the area that was investigated by the survey or excavation, as detailed in the publication. Work can be done from anywhere, after some initial meetings in the Museum. This is an opportunity to gain a good overview of the archaeology of Turkey, as well as learn some digital geographical skills.
Required Training: Selected volunteers will receive training on how to use the database and spatial software, as well as on the best practices around the task of drawing on the map.
Qualifications: A candidate for this position should have a deep appreciation for the importance of accurate data, the ability to stay focused while engaging with independent work, and comfortable with technology. Attention to detail is a must. This data entry work is meticulous and some requires patience. You should also be comfortable with maps and spatial information. You do not need to know any specific software, you will receive training.
Expectations: Volunteers for this position should be available to dedicate at least 20 hours per month, but can work as many hours as they can fit into their schedule. The volunteer can work these hours whenever they want to during the week since this is remote work.