Information About the Penn Museum.

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!


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.

Volunteer Data Specialist - Ban Chiang Project, Institute for Southeast Asian Archaeology

The Ban Chiang Project of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is seeking a volunteer for assistance in database enhancement. The main task is to enter data on radiocarbon dates from Southeast Asia into a Microsoft Access database.

The Ban Chiang Project, and now the Institute for Southeast Asian Archaeology has pioneered offering open access data for both scholars and laypersons interested in the field of Asian archaeology. The current project builds upon a Microsoft Access database compiled by a former volunteer (a retired engineer) and has the goal of compiling a comprehensive database of radiocarbon dates from Southeast Asian archaeological sites. The immediate goal is to contribute to a publication about settlement patterns on mainland Southeast Asia from the early Holocene to the early late Holocene (from about 9000 to 3000 years ago). However, the longer term goal is to enhance our online offerings at with a “Southeast Asian Archaeology Database of Radiocarbon Dates”.

The volunteer should be comfortable working independently. However, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are days with other students, volunteers, and employees, so there is additional company.

With successful completion of the initial data entry tasks, the position has the potential to grow in scope and contribute to other exciting and important projects within the section.

Required Training

Selected volunteers will receive training on how to use the database and the best practices around the task of data entry.


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. This data entry work is meticulous and demands patience. Former successful volunteers have been retired engineers and librarians.


Volunteers for this position should be available to dedicate about 3-4 hours a week on Tuesdays or Wednesdays between 11:00am-5:00pm. Since the project is on-going there are no specific start or end dates.

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