Since its founding in 1887, the Penn Museum has collected nearly one million objects, many obtained directly through its own field excavations or anthropological research. The Museum's vast and varied collections are in active service to the University of Pennsylvania community and researchers from all over the world.

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Teaching Access to Collections

A Guide for Penn Faculty and Other Instructors
The Penn Museum welcomes and encourages Penn faculty, instructors, and teaching assistants to make use of its collections (now accessible online at www.penn.museum/collections). We have world-class collections of objects from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Oceania, ancient Egypt, the Mediterranean, and the Near East, as well as extensive photographic, film, and document archives, and a significant collection of biological specimens and remains in our Physical Anthropology collection. Our public galleries provide an introduction to geographical regions of the world and thematic subjects, while thousands of objects in storage are available for more detailed, small-group study. Integrating a visit to the galleries or a collections study session is a highlight for many classes ranging from Introductory Latin to African Music.

The following guidelines for class access have been developed to facilitate the use of collections while maintaining the safety and security of the Museum’s irreplaceable objects. For inquiries about access to Museum collections, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Research Access to Collections

The Penn Museum welcomes and encourages researchers to make use of its collections (now accessible online at www.penn.museum/collections). We have world-class collections of objects from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Oceania, ancient Egypt, the Mediterranean, and the Near East, as well as extensive photographic, film, and document archives and a significant collection of biological specimens and remains in our Physical Anthropology collection. We make every effort to accommodate research requests, however, mitigating circumstances (including but not limited to inaccessibility, fragility, publication status, sacred nature, construction, and time constraints) may restrict access to some materials. 

Contact
For general inquiries about access to Museum collections, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Submit Your Request
For specific requests, please download the Research Access Policy to fill out the Request Form and email it to the relevant Contact Person listed on page 2. Save this form to your desktop before completing it. 

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Requesting Object Photography/Illustration

To request permission to photograph and/or illustrate objects in the Museum’s collection, please download the Photography/Illustration Permission Form (see button below) and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

By completing this form, you are assigning copyright to these photographs and illustrations to the Penn Museum unless otherwise specified. These photographs and illustrations may only be used for research purposes (including public presentations) and are not eligible for further reproduction, distribution, exhibition, or publication.

To obtain publication-quality photographs and illustrations of Museum objects and the permission to publish photographs and illustrations, please email the Museum Archives at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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