Photographs from the Grand
Academy of Lagado

This site is a pilot project of the Lower Laurentian Metafictional Research Council to showcase material to the international academic community.

History and Description of the Academy

Annotated Catalogue of the Folios



Lower Laurentien Metafictional Research Council Affiliations

Uqbar Metafictionnal Photo Biennale

Posthumous Psychomorphologytomographical scans of the Shroud ofTurin


The Lagado Project was established by the Lower Laurentian Metafictional Research Council five years following the discovery of the Appert Folio in the fall of 1988.The Folio found in the medical archives of the facility at Charenton contained 84 albuminized salted-silver prints and 157 wet collodian plates.The project was originally staffed by Dr. Norman Golb, Professor of the History of Science, Dr. Michael Wise, Assistant Professor of history of photography, as well as by our graduate research assistant, Anthony Tomasino.

Because of the nature and content of the images found in the Lagado Folio the photographs were initially attributed to the medical scientist Dr. Duchene de Boulogne, though no connection had been found between Duchene de Boulogne or any of his associates and the Psychiatric Hospital at Charenton. The salted paper prints contained in the folio bore the stamp of Blanquart-Evrard and were retraceable to his print shop l'imprimerie photographique, in Argentueille, France. Here the true author of the photographs was identified as Eugene Appert, a portrait photographer and nephew to the 19th century French physician and fantasmagore Étienne-Gaspard Robertson. An important aspect of the early stages of the project had been to explore any link or association between Appert and Charenton. A research technician by the name of Francois Villette son of Francois Villette III, physician, spiritist and partner of Étienne-Gaspard Robertson, was found to have been in residence at Charenton beginning in 1843 and ending some time before 1857.
This information provided a connection between the photographer, the nephew of Étienne-Gaspard Robertson and a resident physician, the son of his business partner. In the short weeks that followed the initial discovery of the Appert Folio more photographs and historical documents were unearthed by the Golb research team from a variety of locations within a 500-kilometer radius of the Archives at Charenton. Together, the photographs and documents submitted traced out the existence of a discrete pseudo-scientific society that administered a research facility and library. Evidence indicates that the research facility was founded sometime in the latter part of the 17th century and may have continued to exist, perhaps in some minor or passive form, even as late as the third or fourth decade of the 20th century. Today we are certain of the existence of this Society of Speculative Projectors, (so called by its benefactors), of its location in the Otztal region of the Italian Alps, only a few short kilometers from the Swiss border, and perhaps most crucially, of the fact that this discrete scientific society was none other than The Grand Academy of Lagado as first described by Sir Lemuel Gulliver in his navigational chronicles of 1726.

Revised: August 3, 2001
Copyright 2000 LLMRC.