EFRON, ILYA (1847–1915), Russian publisher. Efron was born in Vilna. In 1880 he founded a printing press in Peterburg and in 1890 he and the well-known German encyclopedia publisher F. Brockhaus founded the Brockhaus-Efron publishing house in St. Petersburg. It became one of the leading publishing houses in Russia, responsible for a number of historical and literary reference works, including an 86-volume Russian encyclopedia, the Library of Famous Writers, and the multi-volume Library for Self-Education and Library of Natural Sciences. It also published, in cooperation with the Society for Jewish-Scientific Publications, the Russian-Jewish encyclopedia Yevreyskaya Entsiklopediya in 16 volumes (1907–13). In the field of Jewish history it published, among other works, Renan's "History of the Jewish People" with commentaries by S. Dubnow and others, and two works on the Inquisition. After 1917 it transferred its activities to Berlin, operating there until the 1930s.
[Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]