Certain events sometimes exert a decisive influence on the future direction of a person's life. In my case one of the more determinative occurred during a brief week spent in Vienna in early February 1957 For one thing, I discovered in the Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv highly significant documents in some cartons that had just been returned to Austria from Italy, by mistake as it turned out. The director of the Austrian archives, Gebhard Rath, put these records at my disposal. These papers, together with material of lesser import in the Archivio di Stato in Milan, provided the documentation for an article showing how Austrian officials had thwarted the efforts of an Italian scoundrel to extort money from them. More important than this discovery were my conversations with Professor Hugo Hantsch, of the University of Vienna, during the course of which I promised to supply as complete a list as possible of United States and Canadian writings on the history of the Habsburg monarchy, take the initiative in founding some kind of association for American scholars interested in Habsburg and Austrian history, and endeavor to help the Austrian professor obtain a grant from the Ford Foundation for a large international project on the history of the Habsburg monarchy from 1848 to 1918.