Abramsky was born in Minsk, the son of Rabbi Yehezkel Abramsky. He gained a BA degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MA from the University of Oxford. He was Reader in Jewish History, then Goldsmid Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College London. He was a Senior Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford. A noted scholar of Jewish History, Abramsky was also well known as an expert and antiquarian Hebrew books and manuscripts, and was professionally consulted for many years by the auction house Sotheby's, who traditionally run one Hebraica and Judaica auction every year.
In 1936, while studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he became involved in socialist campus politics and on one occasion, he recalled being beaten up by the future Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir – then a leading figure in the rightwing Irgun.
Abramsky was married to Miriam née Nirenstein (1917–1997); her parents were the proprietors of Shapiro Vallentine, a prominent publisher of Jewish scholarly books. They had two children, Jack and Jenny. The house they shared in Northern London was considered an important destination for thinkers and scholars.
In 1966, he was invited to take up a newly created lectureship in modern Jewish history at University College London.
In a well known incident, Abramsky once hosted Japanese crown prince and Hebrew scholar Prince Takahito Mikasa at the University College London’s Institute of Jewish Studies in 1975. 
- The Jewish Year Book, 2005, p. 217
- Rapoport-Albert, Ada (March 18, 2010). "Chimen Abramsky obituary Historian expert in Jewish studies and Hebrew literature". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "Professor Chimen Abramsky: historian". The Times. London. March 19, 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Davidzon, Vladislav (February 18, 2015) 'Chimen Abramsky’s House of Twenty Thousand Books' Tablet Magazine. Retrieved 15 December 2015
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