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 Apr 21, 2021 at 5:57 PM

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.

Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum is Reopening

The Museum is reopening March 25, 2021. See below for details, including information on advanced tickets and safety guidelines.

Museum Closures and Covid-19 Operational Guidelines

Many of the museums are closed and public programs are cancelled until further notice. Check the Historic Alexandria homepage to see the latest on which museums are now open.

The Office of Historic Alexandria established the following guidelines to ensure consistent operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff will regularly re-evaluate them based on safety and 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.


The Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum is now closed for interior painting, carpet replacement, and other maintenance projects. We apologize for the inconvenience but look forward to welcoming you back when work is completed! In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our online exhibit, “Witnessing Worship: A Photographic Study of Faith in Alexandria” at and our series of “Witnessing Worship” videos featuring exhibit photographer Nina Tisara on our YouTube channel “HistoricAlexVa” 


Spring2ACTion Day is April 28, but why wait until then? Early giving began on April 14! Join us as we work to share the full history of Alexandria for all by donating at Spring2ACTion. This year, Historic Alexandria is raising money for Freedom House Museum to share the history of not only the site, but the larger African American story of Alexandria. See a short video for a look behind the scenes at some of the exciting work going on at the Freedom House Museum!


 A new Online Exhibition. Learn about Alexandria’s first Girl Scout troops and the important role youth organizations have played in supporting girls in their formative years.


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.


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


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.


While our lives today look different than generations past, winter still brings a common feeling of change. Even this year, when COVID 19 is changing much of what we do, colder days, longer nights, and holiday.


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. 


Over the past year, OHA has recorded our community's response to the pandemic by collecting objects, images and stories from citizens across the City. See a sampling of this public history collecting effort, and learn more about contributing to this on-going project. 


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.

Museum and Office Hours

Museum Hours
Reopening March 25, 2021

Thursday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m.– 5 p.m.

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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