Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum

In 1839, a group of gentlemen calling themselves The Alexandria Lyceum joined with the Alexandria Library Company to build a grand hall to provide a place for lectures, scientific experiments and quiet reading.

Page updated on Sep 10, 2020 at 10:56 AM

Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum

The Alexandria Lyceum was founded in 1838, by a group of well-educated local men with an interest in improving public educational and cultural opportunities throughout the community. In 1839, the group joined with the Alexandria Library to construct a new home for both organizations, the building known today simply as The Lyceum. This historic site has also served as a Civil War hospital ward, a private residence, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Nation’s first Bicentennial Visitor’s Center. Today, as the Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum, the site offers exhibitions, public programs, a museum store, and facility rentals.


Nina Tisara and guests touring Witnessing Worship exhibit
Nina Tisara and guests touring Witnessing Worship. Courtesy Steven Halperson/Tisara Photo.

The Museum is now open Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m. We will add more days later in the summer.

As we reopen, museums will initially operate at 25% capacity and will require purchase of timed tickets in advance at  The Alexandria Shop. Tickets are $3 or free for Alexandria residents. If you have purchased a Key to the City ticket, you will have the option to choose that option to schedule the time of your visit. Please bring your Key to the City ticket to be redeemed.  

Come tour our exhibit galleries, enjoy our museum shop, and view our new special exhibition, Witnessing Worship: A Photographic Study of Faith in Alexandria. The exhibit has over 100 photographs by Nina Tisara that were donated to the Office of Historic Alexandria.

See more information about safety measures at the museum.

Covid-19 Operation Guidelines  

The Office of Historic Alexandria established the following guidelines to ensure consistent operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff will regularly re-evaluate them through the remainder of 2020 based on available staffing levels and as the region moves through Phase 3 of the Forward Virginia plan. Includes guidelines for guided tours, volunteers, rentals, public programs and events, and on-site research and collections use by the public.

Covid-19 Operation Guidelines


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Virtual Tour

Visit the  first and  second floors of the Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum on Google 360 virtual tours.


In 1985, photographer Nina Tisara documented fifty worship groups throughout the City of Alexandria. The 106 images provide a portrait of Alexandria’s worship community at that time. Tisara sought to document “the breadth, variety, and vitality of worship in the city.” She came to call her project Converging Paths because the experience led her to conclude that, despite the many different paths worship takes, “we are all kin.” This  online exhibition provides a sampling of the photographs.


We are excited that the Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum has reopened, in accordance with the Commonwealth’s Forward Virginia Plan. Learn more about initial hours, timed tickets and safety measures.


Because of COVID-19, the Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum is not able to host concerts, lectures, or other events on site until further notice. We are, however, hosting live-streaming events on Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook Live. Currently scheduled streaming events include concerts from WMPA and a series of lectures by local Alexandria historians.


Museums are beginning to reopen in accordance with the Commonwealth’s Forward Virginia Plan. The Alexandria Archaeology Museum, Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum and Gadsby's Tavern Museum are now open. Public programs are cancelled until further notice. Refer to the Calendar for the status of Commission and other departmental associated meetings.


Miss visiting your favorite Historic Alexandria sites? Looking for some fun historic activities to share with your kids at home? Let our staff bring history virtually to you! 


Peaceful vigils, protests and other events took place in Alexandria during the first week in June, following the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. Recognizing the importance of this moment in history, the Office of Historic Alexandria invites the community to share signs, t-shirts, flyers, photographs, journals, personal stories, and artifacts that document local vigils and protests. 


As we experience this unprecedented time in the history of our town and the world, the Office of Historic Alexandria is embarking on a project to record our City’s response by conducting oral histories and collecting select memories, objects and documents from across the Alexandria community.


George Washington is represented in the Alexandria History Museum''s collection with items created to commemorate, and celebrate, his life and achievements. Learn about the sampler and two other artifacts from the 19th century that show how he was greatly admired at home, nationally, and abroad.


Location, hours, directions, and everything you need to know to visit Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum.
Parking and Trolley Map

Museum and Office Hours

Museum Hours
Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m.
Public programs are cancelled until further notice.     

New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas

Office Hours
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., by appointment only.

Email the Museum

Email Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum  

Event Tickets

To purchase tickets to events sponsored by the Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum , and to shop online, visit  The Alexandria Shop

Performance Calendar

Learn about events from groups renting the the lecture hall, for  concerts, lectures and meetings open to the public.

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