International Institute for Sport History
Library and Museum

The International Institute for Sport History

is a Pennsylvania non-profit
educational, literary and research corporation
under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

We are organized to operate a Library & Museum devoted to the
History of Sport, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance,
Sport in Art and the Olympic Games.


The IISOH mission is to collect and preserve for posterity all the literature in the world
on the numerous subjects related to sport and human physical activity,
EVERY book, from EVERY country, in EVERY language that has ever been printed
to achieve the educational, literary and research missions of the Institute.

This beautiful photograph is from the internet and is just a representation of what we want to achieve
but we will not use wood for shelving because it is a fire hazard, but it looks nice!


The IISOH Museum is more comprehensive than a collection of art, memorabilia and physical objects.
It includes all of the planned indoor and outdoor sports facilities, so that the Museum is a comprehensive
resource for the history of each sport while also serving the educational and research needs of the Institute.
The entire sports complex of fields, sports halls & gymnasiums, swimming pool, the ancient stadium of Olympia
and all the recreational facilities combine to make up the entire Museum. The main Museum building will be quite
large with both permanent and rotating galleries. The largest gallery planned is dedicated to the history of the
ancient Olympic Games. The two level design will also have galleries for the modern Olympic Games, major sports such as
baseball, football, basketball, soccer, fencing, wrestling and athletics (track & field) with rotating galleries for all other sports.

This beautiful photograph is actually the entrance to the British Museum in London.
We plan to construct a Greek style building similar to this. The two statues - the DISCUS THROWER
and ROCKY #3 will be part of the IISOH statuary collection, as we will acquire both for our collection.


The Dance theater is part of the Museum and is planned as a multi-purpose building for teaching, training, and performing that can also be used as a movie theater. Various sized dancing studios suited to different styles of dance throughout history require a variety of design models, both indoor and outdoor. The subject of dance is extremely diverse, from ancient rituals to modern dance, Italian Renaissance dance to ballet, Latin dance to Swing, Ballroom dance to disco, the list goes on and on. Then, of course, there are dance "elements" that are important in sports such as ice skating and gymnastics. This facility is multi-purpose for the dance rubric as well as the multi-media department for film, video and music.

Peter Bruegel, the Wedding Dance, 1566

This painting is by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Wedding Dance, 1566, in the Detroit Institute of Arts, USA.


The ambitious plan for the IISOH sports facilities will require time, patience and a lot of space. Sports facilities are planned for almost every sport imaginable from archery to wrestling. Some of the indoor facilities that are planned include designated rooms for wrestling, judo, boxing and other martial arts, gymnastics, fencing, weight lifting and bodybuilding, courts for racquetball, handball and squash, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, bowling and swimming. Outdoor fields are planned for athletics (called "track & field" in the USA), baseball, football, soccer, rugby, field hockey and lacrosse, with a cycling path adjacent to a long distance running path, parcours and a golf course of unknown size, perhaps only 3 holes. As an example: one gymnasium will be a replica of the early 19th century Springfield, Massachusetts gym where James Naismith invented basketball. Visitors could play basketball by the old, original rules by throwing a volleyball into a peach basket. Visitors could then walk across the hall to the modern facility and play basketball in an up-to-date gymnasium with the current rules. Both indoor and outdoor Olympic-size swimming pools (natatorium) are planned for swimming, diving, water polo and lifesaving. The IISOH does have limitations: no facilities are planned for skiing and other mountain sports, nor for such water sports as sailing, rowing and canoeing.

This facility illustrated is NOT the IISOH plan, but an illustration of the type of facility that is planned. This image is a photograph of the German University of Sport, Cologne, Germany, (Sporthochschule Koln) one of the major influential forces behind the creation of the IISOH.


Part of our mission includes the wide-ranging subject of recreation. A major aspect of this subject is "play space" for children, in other words, "playgrounds." Our intention is to develop several different playgrounds throughout the campus that illustrate both historical and modern designs and equipment. A major research mission of the Institute concerns SAFETY in sports and recreation. We want to assist designers and manufacturers of sports and playground equipment to conduct their research on our campus where we could assist with testing and help make both the equipment as well as the designed play space a safer environment for children.

Illustrated here is "Kidsburg" located in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, which has been destroyed twice from heavy flooding and is closed as of 2018 in order to be re-built.

Peter Bruegel, Children's Games, 1560

Illustrated here is a painting called "Children's Games" by the Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1560 in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Vienna, Austria).

(As yet Unnamed)

A separate building will house our international-style restaurant and outdoor cafe. The menu that is planned is American/European-based with periodic (quarterly) special menus for other styles of food such as Mexican, Chinese, etc. The present design includes four distinct sections. The main building is a large Bavarian-style beer hall with a large central room with a stage at one end for bands & entertainment similar to the famous beer halls in Munich and other European cities. A second floor will have additional rooms of various sizes to accommodate groups and families away from the hustle and bustle of the main hall, an idea based upon designs from two Austrian restaurants located in Vienna and Salzburg, Austria. An additional wing on the main level will lead to an Italian-style restaurant complete with red & white tablecloths, a limited menu selection and red wine and bread served with every meal. Sliding doors on the main level will open to a very large outdoor cafe in the Berlin/Vienna/Paris styles with round tables and umbrellas, with a a menu heavily based on sandwiches, coffee, tea and pastry. In the immediate vicinity will be children's playgrounds and outdoor, (not the traffic and streets as in the image below) with life-size chess boards and pieces, a bocce pitch and paths leading to the outdoor Museum "rooms" which are mostly replicas of ancient Greek and roman athletic statuary.

Image of an outdoor cafe section in central Vienna, Austria


A very important element of the IISOH Museum is the replica of the ancient stadium at Olympia, Greece where the Olympic Games took place from 776 BCE to 393 CE, lasting almost 1,200 years. This stadium will be constructed on the same scale as the original stadium with as much authenticity as possible. This stadium will then be the site for annual summer sports festival, or "IISOH Games" that can be hosted by the Institute as an educational tool. We will teach the history of the ancient Olympic Games and related aspects of Greco-Roman history such as history, philosophy, language and art history by participating and performing the sports of the ancient Greeks. The stadium field itself is approximately 200 meters in length with no actual seating in the surrounding, banked sides. Spectators sit on the grassy slopes. There are no concession stands, no scoreboards and no premium corporate boxes.

A view of the ancient stadium at Olympia, Greece. The entrance is at the lower right, through a tunnel (the original arched roof is missing). The starting line is the row of stones near the three tourists in the center of the image.


The ZANES were bronze statues that lined the entrance to the ancient Olympic stadium. They stood on plinths (square stone pedestals) with an engraving that memorialized an athlete for their misdeeds, usually cheating or bribing someone. NOTE that these statues were NOT in honor of greatness, but they were memorials to cheaters! The lesson to every athlete that was to enter the stadium and take part in the Olympic Games, a religious event that honored the Greek God Zeus, was to be fair and honest, or forever be remembered here!! It is known from Pausanius that there were at least 16 statues and possibly more. Today visitors to the ancient site will see only 13 stone plinthes lining the entrance to the stadium at Olympia because the others have disappeared over time.

The bronze statue known as The Artemision Bronze is of Zeus or possibly Poseidon, circa 460 BCE., Athens, National Archaeological Museum. It is not known what was in the right hand being thrown...a lightning bolt? A spear or javelin? A trident?


The IISOH MUSEUM consists of many buildings plus outdoor garden "rooms" throughout the campus. Each "room" is a landscaped section with a statue - many of which will be ancient Greek or Roman replicas in bronze, stone or resin. At least a dozen ancient Greek statues are planned - all high quality reproductions from molds of the original statues which are in European museums. For example the DISCOBOLOS, or DISCUS THROWER by the Greek artist Myron was originally made in bronze. But the Romans loved it and made numerous copies in marble that can be seen today in museums in London, Paris and Rome. The original bronze statue disappeared in antiquity but the Roman marble copies have been found in various excavations since the 1700's. Our first copy will come from the British Museum in London, made from their original mold. The DISCUS THROWER will be outdoors, surrounded by landscaping, benches, tables and a fountain of flowing water, making it an ideal spot to sit and relax, have a picnic, read a book, take a nap or do lots of pushups.

The DISCOBOLOS, or DISCUS THROWER, by Myron, British Museum, London.


Help us to develop the Library & Museum Collections
by supporting one of our campaigns - go here for more details.

We are seeking widespread public support!

We are very grateful for your financial support just once in your lifetime.
We will never come back to you and ask you to donate again, and again, and again. We do hope that you will follow the IISOH over the years as we grow and develop. We ask only that you invite your friends to support us as well. Share the news about our project with everyone you know.


to go to our secure website page -
we are using STRIPE for credit card processing

The IISOH is a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation - donations are tax deductible.
Federal Tax ID# 41-2041155

Welcome to our simplified html website.
This site is to compliment our primary website at www.iisoh.org
which is under re-development. We have so many pages and so much information
to post that we find it necessary to have this site as a backup. The new site
is designed to be much more elaborate and beautiful, with advanced coding.
Information on this site will eventually be migrated to the new site as it becomes available.
This site is ideal for older browsers and was originally hosted at harveyabramsbooks.com as a public service.
Those pages were relocated here as of April 13, 2017.
Many updates are taking place during 2020-2021, especially the NOC Directory.
We will also be establishing a European office in Vienna, Austria in 2021.
Latest updates 17:21 (Central European time), October 25, 2020

In Pennsylvania the time is:

In Vienna, AUSTRIA the time is:

International Institute for Sport History
Library and Museum
c/o Harvey Abrams
PO Box 732
State College, PA., USA 16804


www.iisoh.org (being rebuilt)

The IISOH is organized to operate a Library & Museum devoted to the
History of Sport, Physical Education Recreation, Dance, Sport in Art
and the Olympic Games.

Mr. Harvey Abrams, President

This page was created September 27, 2018
Updated November 21, 2018
Updated October 21, 2019
Updated September 17, 2020
Updated October 25, 2020
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