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 May 29, 2020 at 11:27 AM

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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In compliance with the governor’s Stay-at-Home order, the Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA) sites are closed and public programs are cancelled until further notice. The Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum will reopen first when Northern Virginia enters Phase II of the Commonwealth’s Forward Virginia Plan in mid-to-late June. Refer to the Calendar for the status of Commission and other departmental associated meetings.


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We are excited that the Historic Alexandria’s museums will be reopening soon! The Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum will reopen first when Northern Virginia enters Phase II of the Commonwealth’s Forward Virginia Plan in mid-to-late June. Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and Fort Ward Museum & Historic Park will follow in Phase III.


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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.


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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! 


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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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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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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. 


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

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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