The Page-Barbour Lectures were founded in 1907 by Mrs. Thomas Nelson Page. The lectures, which may be in any field in the arts and sciences, are to present "some fresh aspect or aspects of the department of thought" in which the lecturer is a specialist, and are to possess such unity as to be published in book form by the University.

Past Page-Barbour Lecturers include President and Chief Justice William Howard Taft; poets T.S. Eliot and W.H. Auden; philosophers Walter Lippman and John Dewey; and psychologists B.F. Skinner and Robert Coles.

Recent Page-Barbour Lectures include philosopher Richard Rorty, physicist Freeman Dyson, and anthropologist Maurice Godelier.