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International Institute for Sport History

IISOH Library & Museum - Devoted to the History of Sport, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance, Sport in Art and the Olympic Games.

http://www.iisoh.org Tax ID 41-2041155


The International Institute for Sport History (IISOH) is a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation organized to operate a Library and Museum for the History of Sport, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance, Sport in Art and the Olympic Games. Our goal is to establish a major research facility for scholars, researchers, students, the media and the general public in order to preserve the wealth of history relating to sport and human physical expression throughout time. We visualize a modern “Library of Alexandria” with an emphasis on Sports and all the related subject areas with a worldwide theme.  Our detailed MISSION STATEMENT is available online at our website, but in a nutshell we will try to gather all the printed literature in the world on every sports subject in every language - a huge undertaking that will make our library and museum a comprehensive research facility.

There is no comparable facility in the United States although many great libraries exist. There are some very outstanding special collections in such libraries as Harvard (sports archives), Notre Dame (football), University of Illinois (Avery Brundage Collection) but nowhere is there a collection comparable to the Carl Diem Institute (Cologne, Germany) or the IOC Library (Lausanne, Switzerland). The British Olympic Committee had an excellent collection until a flood caused serious damage in recent years. The IISOH is the result of decades of research in Olympic Games and Sport History by founder Harvey Abrams who traveled to 19 countries to do research and found that such a need existed and was possible.

The IISOH would like to build a sports complex around the Library and Museum buildings that would serve the practical needs of the educational and research programs of the Institute. Visitors would be able to experience the original form of every sport by actual participation and learn how each sport evolved into its present form through participation. The facility could also serve the current and future needs of sport as a host to both educational seminars, lectures and conferences as well as competition venues.

Finally, the IISOH will establish a subsidiary corporation as the first special high school in the USA with a sport major, the Pennsylvania High School for Sport. This will be a private high school for boys, grades 9-12, with a curriculum designed specifically to earn both a high school diploma and the International Baccalaureate (IB). The program will be based upon a classical liberal arts education as opposed to the more common science/math emphasis in most American schools. The goal is to educate youth with a broad liberal arts background in history, philosophy, civics, language and culture combined with a major in Physical Education and Sport. The main goal is to train aspiring young athletes in gymnastics, wrestling, judo, swimming, diving and track & field to an elite level of competition in order to achieve their goal of university, professional or Olympic competition.

In order to fund this large operation we plan a variety of fundraising events. The CHARTER MEMBERSHIP DRIVE is merely one part of a much broader campaign to develop an endowment of $300 million to permanently support the funding of the Institute. The CHARTER MEMBERSHIP DRIVE is also known as the "Million Donor Campaign" and it is designed to develop the Operating Endowment which will support the daily operations of the IISOH. The principle is invested into trust funds and only the interest is used for operations, hence the endowment is permanent.  Other fundraising campaigns include the Capital Campaign, dozens of sport-specific campaigns, numerous subject-specific campaigns, and the various naming opportunities.

The overall plan is to have a large sports complex with a major library and museum, a restaurant with a cafe, outdoor and indoor sports facilities, playgrounds, recreation zones, and a replica of the ancient stadium at Olympia (Greece) to provide for the Institute's educational, literary and research missions.