News Archives

REALIA Project Receives NEH Grant

April, 2005: The REALIA Project recieves a generous grant of $199,874 from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The purpose of the grant is to help the REALIA Project expand its collection of high-quality, annotated and peer-reviewed digital resources by 20,000 images. See the NITLE press announcement.

REALIA Project Featured on Merlot

March 2005 The REALIA Project is one of the featured sites on MERLOT's World Languages Portal Site.

Merlot Partnership

April, 2004: After discussions last summer between the World Languages Board of MERLOT and representatives of REALIA Project, the two organizations have signed a partnership agreement and begun collaborating on a variety of projects.

Both REALIA and MERLOT are freely accessible resources designed primarily for faculty and students of higher education. MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching), found at, provides links to online learning materials with annotations such as peer reviews and sample assignments. MERLOT recently posted a peer review of REALIA Project.

The partnership will strengthen the reach of both resources by continuing to expand the quantity and ensure the quality of online learning materials and services that can easily be incorporated into educational programs, said Jeff Overholtzer, leader of the REALIA Project Managing Board. "We're very grateful to Carla Meskill and Laura Franklin, the co-editors of the World Languages Board of MERLOT, for their cooperative spirit and continued support, and we look forward to a long and productive partnership," he added.

A representative of MERLOT will participate in the June workshop for REALIA Project, helping to produce learning objects incorporating the use of images and other material from REALIA Project. A memorandum of understanding signed by the two organizations also encourages REALIA Project participation in the MERLOT's annual conference, to be held in August.

The two organizations also are working on a mechanism to allow simultaneous searches of both the REALIA Project and the World Languages portion of MERLOT. The combined search will be available from both the REALIA Project and MERLOT web sites.

REALIA Grows Collection with New Three Languages

June 2004: Our June workshop has resulted in rapid expansion of our database which now includes more than 1,000 images for the study of German, French and Japanese in addition to Russian and Spanish.

REALIA Project: Expands and Plans!

August 2003: The REALIA Project continues to expand its scope of images for the teaching of Spanish and Russian and to make plans for adding other languages (probably French and German). During a work session this summer involving faculty, librarians and students, the prototype increased from 200 to over 500 images, with a target of cataloging 1,000 by this fall.

The second online survey continues to be a highly useful tool for refining the project. In response to preliminary survey comments, the next phase of the project will seek additional funding to continue growth of the collection and to establish editorial boards for current and future languages. The survey results also helped the designers develop a group of thematic categories to facilitate searching the archive.

The REALIA Project seeks to provide a royalty-free web-based resource for digital media, which is vetted through peer reviewand easily available to teachers and learners worldwide. The ManagingBoard consists of faculty members, technologists, and librarians representingthe Associated Colleges of the South (ACS), the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) and the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA). An alliance with MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) is in progress, with the goal of collaborating on models and best practices for teaching with media.

Faculty and staff interested in becoming contributors and/or members of the editorial boards for French and German, as well as Russian and Spanish, are invited to contact project coordinator Jeff Overholtzer at

PowerPoint Plug-in Available

March 2003: The CONTENTdm PowerPoint Plug-in enables quick and easy import of My Favorites, images as well as metadata, into Microsoft® PowerPoint®. The PowerPoint presentation can then be edited and modified using the tools available in PowerPoint. [details and download]