A Genealogue Exclusive [What's That?]The announcement that the National Archives intends to significantly raise its copying fees is bad news for genealogists, but great news for one Washington, D. C., entrepreneur.
Sandy Berger is best known as Bill Clinton's National Security Advisor, but he considers his new job just as vital. As founder and president of DocuDirect, Berger says he can deliver documents at half the price of other companies.
"At DocuDirect we cut out the middleman, saving you both time and money," he explains. "I know the Archives, and it knows me. In fact, some of the security guards even carry around my picture."
Familiarity with the Archives is just one part of the "DocuDirect advantage," Berger says. The former presidential advisor personally handles each request, wearing white gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints and clothing with extra-large pockets. Unlike other researchers who provide their clients with copies that are sometimes illegible, Berger delivers the original records.
"You'll receive your ancestor's actual Civil War pension record," he promises. "No matter how big the file is, you'll get every page—even if I have to stuff them in my socks."
Already fielding more requests than his small office can handle, Berger is planning to expand capacity once the fee hikes are implemented.
"I'm on the South Beach Diet," he confides. "I should be able to fit a half-dozen pension files in my pants come August."