About the Compendium

Welcome! I’m David Walbert, a historian, writer, and educator, and Walbert’s Compendium is my rather grandiosely titled website. It’s not a blog, exactly: I write here about and around my research on the history of food and agriculture and about the intersections between food and culture, as well as about other topics of personal and professional interest, from birds to visual design. There are a few digital tools and a tiny bit of short fiction. I’ve also collected or pointed to the rest of my writing that’s available on the web, including articles and tools for teaching history and my experiences on raising a backyard duck flock.

There are two ways to find your way around. The links in the banner (available on every page) are divided by broad categories and types of content. The topics in the right-hand column cut across those categories.

Six cool things

In a hurry? Here are a few of my favorite things.

Food and craft
The Thanksgiving Issue: Gratitude and Craft (2011). On simplifying without taking shortcuts, and on what really matters in cooking.
Historical cooking
Ye Olde Worcestershire: Eliza Leslie’s Scotch Sauce (2011), in which I reconstruct an 1840 recipe for something very much like Worcestershire sauce.
History and teaching
Timeline of U.S. Political Parties (2010). This is my poster-sized attempt to show visually the evolution of the political party system in the United States since 1789.
Teaching and visual design
Higher Order Thinking with Venn Diagrams (2006). Graphic organizers are powerful ways to help students understand complex ideas. By adapting and building on basic Venn diagrams, you can move beyond comparison and diagram classification systems that encourage students to recognize complex relationships.
Useful Arts / How-to
Raising Ducks: The First Week (2002), in which my ducks learn to swim. You can watch movies, which, this having been 2002, were fairly small, but are still extraordinarily cute.
Fiction
Sanders, at Christmas, Recalls His Parents (2007). A tale of salami, Rockettes, and a failing marriage.

All of me. Why not take all of me?

For more of my historical and educational work, check out the North Carolina Digital Textbook Project at LEARN NC, which I built and edited between 2007 and 2010.

And when you’re done here, head on over to The New Agrarian for pieces on small-scale and suburban agriculture, craft, place, and community.