Institute of Sports Science


The library of the IfS is located in the Wilhelmstraße 124, on the first floor, rooms 50-53, entrance East (Southside).

This library is a reference library with limited lending conditions.

For students a short-term loan (up to 2 hours), as well as an overnight and weekend loan is possible during the semester. This loan always starts one hour before the library closes and ends one hour after the library opens the next day. During the semester break the period of a loan is maximum one week.

Opening hours

  Semester Semester break
Monday 9.00-18.00  
Tuesday 9.00-18.00 10.00-13.00
Wednesday 9.00-18.00 10.00-13.00
Thursday 9.00-18.00 10.00-13.00
Friday 9.00-14.00  

Persons external to the department are able to loan books on corresponding conditions after getting the permission of the library management. The entire usage regulation of the library is available as an pdf-document (28kB).

Library supervisor: Tel. 07071/29-76091
Contact person: Winfried Gebhard

“Rarity makes it extremely valuable”

Winfried Gebhard is scientific librarian at the Institute of Sports Science at the University of Tübingen. Among the approximately 20,000 works the library occupies, you can find quite a few treasures, as Gebhard reveals in the interview.

Mr. Gebhard, since 2001 you have been scientific librarian at the Institute of Sports Science in Tübingen. What makes work so special for you here?

On the one hand, this job gives me the opportunity to cover the whole professional spectrum of a librarian. I am responsible for almost everything and I like the topic of sports. On the other hand, the working atmosphere at the institute is very good. People treat each other in a very friendly way.

In 2011, the library moved into new and very modern premises. What has changed as a result?

Quite a lot, actually. The new library is nearly double the size of the old one. We do have more space now and therefore also a bigger working area for the students. Moreover, our technological equipment has improved a lot. So the new library is a great benefit for everyone.

And what do you think about your library in Tübingen compared to other sport science libraries in Germany?

I think we are well placed. The library collection is good; the premises are very modern. Meanwhile, we do have about 17,000 books and 3,000 magazine volumes. And we always try to improve.

So the library should appeal to the students, right?

Yes, the library is used a lot and a popular place to study. At the end of the day, I sometimes need to 'throw out' some of them. That matches with the general trend. Within the last 15 years, the time spent in libraries per student has increased a lot.

The library of the Institute of Sports Science in Tübingen is supposed to have the only remaining copy of the diploma thesis of Sepp Herberger, the former German national coach in football who won the World Cup in 1954. Is that true?

Yes, that's true. This unique copy is in our hands. And we are very proud of that, of course.

Herberger studied in Berlin, though. So how did his work get to Tübingen?

This is a difficult question. What we know for sure is that this copy was previously in the possession of the Wuerttemberg Landesturnanstalt in Stuttgart. When it was dissolved during the Second World War, the diploma thesis of Sepp Herberger was probably brought to Tübingen, together with some other books.

What an interesting story. Do you have further special works in the library collection?

Yes. For example, former editions of Insight, a magazine for football coaches published by the English Football Association. No other library in Europe has these editions. In 2013, even the British Library asked for them once.

The Institute of Sports Science in Tübingen is a very traditional institution. So you must have some really old books, do you?

Yes, that's right. Our oldest book is from the year 1804: Gymnastik für die Jugend is the title of this work by the well known German teacher, Gutsmuths. And it is the same as with the diploma thesis of Sepp Herberger: rarity makes it extremely valuable.

Interview and translation: Jonathan Dreier.


Josef ‚Sepp‘ Herberger (1897–1977) was the coach of the German national football team between 1936 and 1964. His greatest success as a coach was the victory of the World Cup in 1954 ('Miracle of Bern'). Phrases like 'Der Ball ist rund' ('The ball is round') or 'Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel' ('After the game is before the game') have become very famous in Germany. Before starting his career as a coach, Herberger played for Waldhof Mannheim, VfR Mannheim and Tennis Borussia Berlin, as well as three times for the German national team.

Herberger studied at the German Hochschule für Leibesübungen in Berlin and completed his studies with his diploma thesis entitled with Der Weg zur Höchleistung im Fußballsport ('The Way to Top Performance in Football', 126 pages) in 1930. In 2003, the diploma theses of Herberger and of his predecessor as coach of the German national football team, Otto Nerz, were published together in one book (Sepp Herberger und Otto Nerz: die Chefdenker und ihre Theorien, 176 pages: Agon Sportverlag).