Our History

History of the Museum

The NC Museum of Dolls, Toys & Miniatures (NCMDTM) is a remarkable, must-see destination for families with children, collectors, scholars, and anyone interested in the history, evolution, and future of childhood playthings, the stories they tell, and their role over time as American cultural artifacts.

Located just 35 miles northeast of Charlotte, in Spencer, NC, the NCMDTM has been recognized as one of the top 35 North Carolina's Most Unforgettable Museums. The Museum is the only one of its kind in NC, and one of only a handful of nonprofit museums of its type in the nation.

The NCMDTM was founded in 2012 by the Morris and Nance families to honor their daughter and sister Amy Dawn Morris. Amy, a passionate collector of dolls and miniatures, succumbed to Werding-Hoffman Disease - a rare muscle-wasting condition - just two weeks shy of her 22nd birthday. Soon afterward, the Museum opened its doors featuring her cherished collection of dolls and miniatures. Today, the Museum has thousands of items in its collection, most donated by collectors who wish to preserve their childhood artifacts.

The NCMDTM is dedicated to the preservation, conservation, collecting, study, and appreciation of dolls, toys, and miniatures. There is nothing more heartwarming and nostalgic for adult visitors than when they see their favorite childhood items on display, while boys and girls can't get enough of the museum's hands-on exhibits, play spaces, and creative learning opportunities. Rotating exhibits include a spectrum of antique to contemporary childhood favorites, including the largest known Shirley Temple doll, Schoenhut Humpty-Dumpty Circus, and Schoenhut doll collections available for public viewing.