Encyclopedia of the Founders and Builders of Israel

Touro College in conjunction with the family of David Tidhar has made this classic reference work freely available to the public in a searchable online version in its original Hebrew. The monumental 19-volume Encyclopedia of the Founders and Builders of Israel was compiled and published by David Tidhar (1897-1970) over the 23 years from 1947 until his death. In addition to original articles about political activists and other of his contemporaries, the first several volumes also contain material about 19th century settlers culled from local histories published in the preceding two decades. In each volume, Tidhar requested submission of biographical information and photographs from relatives of early settlers, which he used to compile some 6,000 biographies. His work represents the only biographical source for many of those included. Though Tidhar is famously scant in providing sources, his Encyclopedia is itself widely cited, having become the preeminent source in this area.
The website allows access to the articles of the encyclopedia by browsing by volume or entry. A search engine allows searching the site in Hebrew or English. The Hebrew text is displayed in digital images of the original volumes as well as in transcribed digital text.  
Updated: Feb. 13, 2011