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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 understanding of the human experience and we are looking for volunteers eager to help us fulfill this mission! Cartifacts volunteers dive into and learn about our collections and exhibitions, then share their knowledge with the public through an informal, in-gallery experience. Set up displays of two to four touchable artifacts at carts located in the Museum’s galleries and explain the function and history of each object to visitors.

Cartifacts volunteers engage people of all ages in short-term discussions utilizing open-ended questions. Each cart is focused on a gallery theme and volunteers can decide which subject area they’d like to learn about.

Cartifacts Themes
  • Daily Life in Ancient Rome
  • Mummification in Ancient Egypt
  • Life in the early Americas
Required Training

Volunteers will be interviewed and introduced to all available carts, then study the training manual of the cart of their choice for up to two weeks. After two weeks, Cartifacts volunteers 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 Cartifacts volunteer demonstrates good listening and conversational skills, has enthusiasm for the material, and has knowledge of the Penn Museum’s collections and floor plan. We are actively recruiting volunteers who can give time over the weekends.


Commitments of at least one day per week are preferred, but not required. Cartifacts volunteers may schedule themselves to work any hours between Thursday-Sunday, 10 am-4 pm, or during special evening events.

All volunteers are required to follow University of Pennsylvania and Penn Museum COVID-19 guidelines, such as wearing a mask while on the floor of the Museum.