May 23, 2022

Recently Launched: Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology Online Collections Database

From The Daily Pennsylvanian:

Students and scholars can now look up the records for the approximately one million objects that the museum houses. Users of the database can search for an object in several ways — including by keyword, curatorial section and type of material.

Before the online collections database became available near the end of 2011, a catalog-card system was used to find information about the objects. This system was “tedious” and “time consuming” because the information had to be found manually and “sometimes it took quite a while to locate an object,” said Ashley Scott, a School of Arts and Sciences graduate student who currently works with the electronic museum collection.


The new initiatives that accompany the museum’s 125th anniversary will include additions of 5,000 photographs and 7,000 new records to its online database every six months.

“We’re constantly adding new information to the database. Whether it is a measurement or a more detailed description of the object, it definitely adds to what the museum has to offer,” Scott said. “The new engine is very useful because the public has more information available at their fingertips.”

Direct to Database

Current Database Size (via Homepage)

  • 326,000 object records representing 660,000 objects
  • 51,500 images
About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.