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 Nov 28, 2018 at 12:16 PM

Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum

The Alexandria Lyceum was founded a year earlier, 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.

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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.


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Join us in Old Town Alexandria each second Friday of the month for a concert sponsored by The Folklore Society of Greater Washington (FSGW) and The Office of Historic Alexandria. All concerts run from 6-8 p.m. Suggested donation for the musicians, light refreshments available, and a cash bar.


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Join the Colonial Handbell Ringers as they present their festive holiday musical show! Get into the holiday spirit as you listen – and sing along – with their performance of holiday classics using a long set of Whitechapel bells. One-hour shows December 16 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Free – first come, first served. No reservations and seating capacity is limited. Learn about the Colonial Ringers' holiday concerts at other venues by visiting their website.


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The Lyceum will be closed to the public on Thursday, November 22 for Thanksgiving, Monday, December 24, Tuesday, December 25, and Tuesday, January 1. Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Visit the Historic Alexandria Store this holiday season and find something for everyone on your list! We have books, children’s toys, and other local gift items, including the largest selection of Historic Alexandria Ornaments in Old Town.


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


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This exhibition traces the experiences of local people during the first World War. The homes, hospitals, factories and shipyards of wartime Alexandria come back to life through the use of rare images, archival and modern-day video clips, quotes from participants, original objects including weapons, period music, and scale models. Exhibit open June 30, 2017 through November 11, 2019


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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.


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To commemorate the anniversary of American entry into World War II, Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum presents an online exhibit, The Five Payne Brothers: An Alexandria Family & Their Service


Museum Hours

Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. 
Closed: New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas

Staff Office Hours

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

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

Lyceum 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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