Accession MS COLL 00764 - Eric Ormsby Papers

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Eric Ormsby Papers


  • 1955-2013 (Creation)

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8 boxes (1.5 metres)

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Eric Ormsby is an American poet, writer and Islamic studies scholar. He was born 16 October 1941 in Atlanta, GA, and received his B.A at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his M.A and Ph.D from Princeton University with a specialization in Islamic theology. He also holds a Masters of Library Science from Rutgers University. He has had a distinguished careers in libraries and education, including Director of Libraries at the Catholic University of American in Washington (1983-1986), director of Libraries at McGill University (1983-1986), Professor and director of the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University (1996-2005) and since 2005 has served as the Deputy Head at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, England. He has published extensively on Islamic thought and Ormsby is also an accomplished poet. Selected publications include Bavarian Shrine and Other Poems (1990), Coastlines (1992), Araby (2001), Daybreak at the Straits (2004) and Time’s Covenant (2006).

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Eric Ormsby, 2013

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Scope and content

Includes drafts, notes, correspondence (Geoffrey Hill, Dennis O’Driscoll, Ana Maria Pacheco, Sebastian Barker, Peter Nichols, John Metcalf and others), translations and other material from the life and work of poet and scholar Eric Ormsby. Includes translations from Arabic and Persian by Dr. Ormsby of ‘The Shadow of Gilgamesh’ by Fawzi Karim; ‘Between Reason and Revelation’ by Nasiri-i Khusraw (early title ‘ Twin Wisdoms Reconciled: On the Harmony of Reason and Revelation’); class notes from University of Tübingen, 1973-74; Princeton University exams in Arab studies, 1973; copy of Arabic text used as basis for first book, as well as notes and drafts from Tübingen for Theodicy in Islamic Thought; Arabic poetry notes and drafts by Ormsby, 1972; translations of poetry from the Persian of 8th century poet, Tahman; notes, drafts and translation of Goethe Notes and Essays on the West-Eastern Divan; holograph notebooks; early scrapbook, 1955; articles, reviews, translations in The New Criterion, Parnassus, etc. as well as print and audio/visual appearances.

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Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

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  • English

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Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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