ISEBEL stands for Intelligent Search Engine for Belief Legends.

We aim to build an international search engine that is able to harvest data from several folktale databases. Beta version: http://search.isebel.eu/

Picture taken at the first international meeting of the ISEBEL group, on September 14, 2017, at the Meertens Instituut in Amsterdam

The picture shows:
Theo Meder: Dutch project leader of ISEBEL, senior folk narrative researcher at the Meertens Instituut, and professor at the University of Groningen. Holger Meyer: German assistant professor in the Database Research Group, CSEE Department, at the University of Rostock. Christoph Schmitt: German head of the “Institut für Volkskunde” and Wossidlo Archive, Faculty of Humanities, at the University of Rostock. Matthijs Brouwer: Dutch software engineer at the Meertens Instituut. Vic Ding: Dutch software engineer at the Meertens Instituut (newly hired for the ISEBEL project). Tim Tangherlini: American professor at the Scandinavian Section and the Asian L&C, at the UCLA. Roman Winter: Dutch-Italian PhD student. Antal van den Bosch: Dutch linguistics professor on example-based language modelling at the Radboud University Nijmegen and director of the Meertens Instituut.


The following databases are involved:

The Dutch Folktale Database

The Danish Folktale Database (see also here)

The North-East German Folklore Database WossiDia

See this pdf for a description and the first plans on ISEBEL in Dutch (published as: Theo Meder: ‘ISEBEL: Intelligent Search Engine for Belief Legends’, in: Volkskunde 119 (2018) 1, p. 87-89.)

An English slideshow about ISEBEL (presented at the SIEF workgroup on Archives in Vilnius, Lithiania, 18 October 2018): http://www.theomeder.nl/VilniusISEBEL.pdf

The German poster presented at the Interdisciplinary Research Camp, University of Rostock, 22th November 2018: Poster_ISEBEL

On March 5, 2019, there was an ISEBEL conference at the University of Rostock, organized by Christoph Schmitt and his German team, and Theo Meder. Title: Transnational Harvesting of Folktale Data: a Video Workshop by ISEBEL. See the program and presentations here.

Here is the poster (and here) as presented on the international DH2019 conference in Utrecht 10-12 July 2019. The abstract can be found online here. And here’s a picture made at the conference.

At the end-of-grant conference January 29-31, 2020 in Alexandria, Virginia (USA), Tim Tangherlini represented the ISEBEL project with this slideshow.


Here is some media coverage about ISEBEL: