Hebrew Univ Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.
Haentsiklopedia HaIvrit was the largest modern literary project in the Hebrew language in terms of its circulation and the financial and the intellectual investments that it required. The initiators of this monumental project sought to buttress the emerging national identity by disseminating certain types of knowledge among all members of Israeli society This article follows the forty-year history of the encyclopedia and observes the reasons for changes in epistemology, purpose, and marketing. I find that the project, which gained commercial success and critical acclaim in its first decade, gradually became a financial failure in later years. In its last years, the encyclopedia lost its luster as a national emblem, with much of the knowledge having been "imported" from foreign sources.
Keywords: Haentsiklopedia Haivrit, monumental project, national emblem