Photo property of National Geographic

The other day, I was walking in the ESL Gardens, admiring the koi in the ponds and the arrangements of exotic flora.  All of a sudden, I heard a familiar bark behind me.  I turned, and saw my shiny, red-furred friend, the Vocab Vixen!  In front of her, a cute red pup was trying to get her attention.  Suddenly, it noticed me and scampered towards me, jumping into my arms!  

As it wiggled, wriggled, and waggled, I held it gently but firmly in order to see the word written on his forehead.

That word was Realia.

From Wikipedia:

In library classification systems, the term realia refers to three-dimensional objects from real life such as coins, tools, and textiles, that do not easily fit into the orderly categories of printed material. They can be either man-made (artifacts, tools, utensils, etc.) or naturally occurring (specimens, samples, etc.), usually borrowed, purchased, or received as donation by a teacher, library, or museum for use in classroom instruction or in exhibits.

This is not the only definition of this word.  There are at least two other uses for this word, but they all seem to mean about the same thing.

Question:  Have you ever heard or seen this word before?  Can you think of some synonyms for this word?  


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