Former Deputy Head of the Department of Academic Research and Publications at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, Professor Eric Ormsby has held positions with several university libraries and collections in North America including: Director of Libraries at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. from 1983-86; Director of Libraries at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and Associate Professor in McGill's Institute of Islamic Studies from 1983-86; and from 1996 to 2005, full Professor and Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University.

Professor Ormsby received his B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania where he majored in Oriental Studies (Arabic and Turkish). He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University with a specialisation in Islamic theology and philosophy. He also studied Islamic theology and philosophy and Semitic philology at the University of Tubingen, Germany, with Professors Josef van Ess and Manfred Ullmann. In 1978, he received a Masters of Library Science from Rutgers University while working as Bibliographer and later, as Curator of the Near East Collections at the Princeton University Library.

He has published widely on the topic of Islamic thought. His published books include Theodicy in Islamic Thought (Princeton University Press, 1984), Handlist of Arabic Manuscripts (New Series) in the Princeton University Library (1987), and Moses Maimonides and His Time (Washington, D.C., 1987). In addition to publishing many articles and reviews on different aspects of medieval Islamic theology and mysticism, Professor Ormsby has published widely as a poet in such magazines as The New Yorker and The Paris Review and has authored five collections of poems as well as a book of essays on poetry and literature, including Arabic literature.

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