The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum

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 Apr 25, 2018 at 3:10 PM

The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum

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 city’s history museum, 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 Lyceum on Google 360 virtual tours.


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


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Clio's Kids introduces children ages 5-7 years to American history and life in historic Alexandria through artifacts, storytelling, singing and crafts, "old-fashioned" games, and visits to nearby historic places.  Click here to learn more about our summer camp. 


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George Washington is represented in The Lyceum'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, 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 The Lyceum  

Event Tickets

To purchase tickets to events sponsored by 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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American Alliance of Museums
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