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Need to research an object at the Penn Museum?

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Digital Penn Museum is the portal for the Penn Museum's digital content, including over 379,000 object records representing over 1 million objects in the collections and accompanied by more than 200,000 images.

More information is available through Penn Museum publications, including:

  • Expedition, the current publication of the Penn Museum. Volumes 1 (1958) - present are available at the Museum Library (call # GN1 .E9), and all but the current issues are available free online.
  • The University Museum Bulletin. Volumes 1 (1930) - 22 (1958) are available at the Museum Library desk and Van Pelt Library (call # CC21 .P46)
  • The Museum Journal. All volumes 1 (1910) - 24 (1935) are available at the Museum Library desk and online through the Penn Museum website. Additionally, full text of volumes 1 (1910) - 13 (1922) is available and searchable through the HathiTrust.
  • The Bulletin of the then-named Free Museum of Science and Art. Volumes 1 (1897) - 3 (1901-1902) are available online through the HathiTrust, as well at the Museum Library desk and in the Van Pelt Library (call # CC91 .P39).


The subdivisions of this guide are based on the curatorial sections of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology. Therefore, sections specifically for Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeology are organized separately from the sections for archaeology in Africa and Asia. Information on prehistoric Aegean, Etruscan, Greek, and Roman archaeology is found in the section for "Mediterranean."

Find an introduction to a topic

Searching in Franklin Catalog

Franklin: Catalog & Articles+  searches both Franklin: Catalog for materials held by Penn Libraries and Franklin: Articles+ for content in many bibliographic databases and full-text resources.

Searching by names of ancient sites or cultures can be tricky. If variant names or spellings are known, researchers are encouraged to try the ancient and modern names in what is most commonly used in English as well as in the vernacular. Examples:

  • Constantinople and Istanbul
  • Thebes (Egypt) and Luxor
  • Nysa-Scythopolis, Baysan, Bisan, Beit She'an, and Bet She'an (Israel) - the last option is the standard Library of Congress subject heading that should appear in all Franklin Catalog records for books specifically about the site, but the other spellings and names would be useful in subject databases and full-text resources. 
  • Inca and Inka
  • Accadian and Akkadian

Because the Franklin Catalog uses standard Library of Congress subject headings in records, searches by Subject Heading Browse or Subject Heading Keyword formulated as follows may be useful: 

  • [name of modern city, country, region, or cultural group] -- Antiquities
    • Examples: Rome (Italy) -- Antiquities; India -- Antiquities; Middle East -- Antiquities; Incas -- Antiquities
  • Excavations (Archaeology) -- [name of region, country, or state] -- [sometimes additional subdivisions]
    • Examples: Excavations (Archaeology) -- Africa, Southern -- Shashi-Limpopo Valley; Excavations (Archaeology) -- Pennsylvania -- Valley Forge National Park

Selected resources for archaeology worldwide

For resources and databases for specific cultures and regions, use the menu on the left to find the appropriate section of this Guide.


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Deb Stewart
Deb Brown Stewart
Head, Museum Library
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215 898-4021

The Museum Library

Penn Museum respectfully acknowledges that it is situated on Lenapehoking, the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the Unami Lenape.

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The Museum Library, located in the Academic Wing of the Penn Museum, is the University of Pennsylvania's branch library for anthropology and archaeology. With over 145,000 volumes on-site with historic strengths in biological and physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, archaeology worldwide, and Native American studies, it is one of the premier branch libraries for anthropology in the United States.



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