Distinguishing between primary and secondary sources is an important first step in scholary research. As critical inquiry is essential to solid, accurate research, scholars need to know the difference. According to the Society of American Archivists, primary sources are defined as "material that contains firsthand accounts of events and that was created contemporaneous to those events or later recalled by an eyewitness."
The SAA also defines secondary resources as "works not based on direct observation of or evidence directly associated with the subject, but instead relying on sources of information", as well as "works commenting on another work (primary sources), such as reviews, criticism, and commentaries."
The American Library Association's Reference and User Services Association has a detailed guide discussing the use of primary sources in research. Princeton University also provides a comparative overview of primary and secondary resources to aid in distinguishing between the two.
Call Numbers - using the Library of Congress Classification
BX800-4795 - Catholic Church
BX800-839 - Periodicals. Societies, councils, congresses, etc.
BX840 - Museums. Exhibitions
BX841 - Dictionaries. Encyclopedias
BX850-875 - Documents
BX880-891 -General collected works
BX895-939 - Study and teaching
BX940-1745 - History, Including lives of popes
BX1746-1755 - Theology. Doctrine. Dogmatics
BX1760-1779.5 - Controversial works
BX1781-1788 - Catholic Church and other churches
BX1790-1793 - Catholic Church and the state
BX1800-1920 - Government and organization
BX1958-1968 - Creeds and catechisms
BX1969 - Forms of worship.Catholic practice
BX1970-2175 - Liturgy and ritual
BX2050-2175 - Prayers and devotions
BX2177-2198 - Meditations. Devotional readings. Spiritual exercises, etc.
BX2200-2292 - Sacraments
BX2295-2310 - Sacramentals
BX2312 - Images
BX2315-2324 - Relics. Shrines. Pilgrimages. Processions
BX2325-2333 - Saints. Hagiology
BX2347-2377 - Practical religion. Christian life
BX2380-2386 - Religious life. Religious state
BX2400-4563 - Monasticism. Religious orders
BX2890-4192 - Religious orders of men
BX4200-4563 - Religious orders of women