Oriental Institute Museum Docent - defined...

Docents are an elite group of individuals who bring the museum to life for our guests by leading groups on tours of the museum.  They are life-long learners, educators, ambassadors and performers who share their passion for history and deliver accurate information. Docents encourage exploration and interpretation of the exhibitions of the Oriental Institute Museum using methods of dialog and inquiry. Docents continually add to their knowledge after completion of the initial training by attending monthly volunteer training days and attending Oriental Institute lectures.  Docents are part of a vibrant and enthusiastic community of volunteers who serve as the public face of the Oriental Institute.


Museum docent training requires candidates to attend an eight week training session.  This training is held one day a week ( on Mondays), from 9 to 4:30, during June and July.  Lectures are presented by world-renowned experts from the University of Chicago, department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.  Pre-readings are assigned each week, as well as written essay assignments and oral presentations.  


  • Submit online application.
  • Selected candidates will participate in an on-site interview.
  • Become a member of the Oriental Institute.
  • Attend the 8-week museum docent training session, complete required reading assignments, written essays and oral presentations.
  • Certified docents must give 13 tours a year.
  • Email and web access required at home.
  • Have a positive attitude and adhere to the Oriental Institute policies, procedures, and guest-service standards.

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