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 28, 2021 at 1:05 PM

Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum

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

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.

Covid-19 Operational Guidelines

OHA established the following guidelines to ensure consistent operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. All museums are participating in the ALX Promise Gold program. Staff will regularly re-evaluate these guidelines throughout 2021, based on guidance from the CDC, Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Virginia Health Department.


The Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum is open Thursdays and Fridays 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 - 5 p.m. This page has admission information and directions to assist in planning your visit.


 Visit the first floor exhibits and The Lyceum Lecture Hall on Google 360 Virtual Tours. 


 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.


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.


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! 

Museum and Office Hours

Museum Hours
Thursday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m.– 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 - 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.

Stay Connected

Follow the museum on social media and sign up for eNews
Lyceum Facebook Page  Lyceum Twitter Page 

More social media from Historic Alexandria
City Facebook Page   Twitter Page   Historic Alexandria Instagram Historic Alexandria YouTube Channel

American Alliance of Museums logo
American Alliance of Museums
Accredited Museum