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The acronym stands for Intelligent Search Engine for Belief Legends. The project is an NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) Trans-Atlantic Digging into Data project which involves collaboration with Tim Tangherlini of UCLA and Christoph Schmitt and Holger Meyer of the Wossidlo Institute and the University of Rostock. In the project, an international harvester will be built that is capable of simultaneously searching multiple databases and mapping out the results in a wide variety of visual ways.2 This will allow both general northern European cultural phenomena and regional diversity and identity to be observed graphically and interpreted.
This project will start with the Dutch folktale database, the Danish folktale database, and the northeast German folklore database WossiDia. Subsequent connections can be made to other databases (Iceland, Sweden, Flanders, Catalonia, Portugal). It is important for the research that the spread of historical folk beliefs in the supernatural is brought into view more clearly: witches, wizards, gnomes, trolls, mermaids, ghosts, sea monsters, and the like. Thanks to ISEBEL it will be possible to map out a large coastal region along the North and Baltic Seas, potentially with highly specific Wandersagen or Migratory Legends.

Researcher: Theo Meder