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Lougheed Library at St. Thomas Aquinas College  

Last Updated: Sep 14, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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General Information

Lougheed Library

Spellman Hall
125 Rt. 340
Sparkill, N.Y. 10976

Ref Desk: 1.845.398.4218

Circ Desk: 1.845.398.4219

General Info: 1.845.398.4219

Hours         Staff 

We have weekend hours starting 9/15 ! 



For all tutorials center screen on monitor before viewing:

Basic Searching

Sage Online (for Criminal Justice)

What is a Scholarly Article? from Kimbel Library on Vimeo

For Faculty:

Faculty:Recommend books for purchase



Primary Sources/Secondary sources

From University of Maryland

Primary sources


Primary sources are original materials. They are from the time period involved and have not been filtered through interpretation or evaluation. Primary sources are original materials on which other research is based. They are usually the first formal appearance of results in physical, print or electronic format. They present original thinking, report a discovery, or share new information.

Note: The definition of a primary source may vary depending upon the discipline or context.

Examples include:

Artifacts (e.g. coins, plant specimens, fossils, furniture, tools, clothing, all from the time under study);

Audio recordings (e.g. radio programs)


Internet communications on email, listservs;

Interviews (e.g., oral histories, telephone, e-mail);

Journal articles published in peer-reviewed publications;


Newspaper articles written at the time;

Original Documents (i.e. birth certificate, will, marriage license, trial transcript);



Proceedings of Meetings, conferences and symposia;

Records of organizations, government agencies (e.g. annual report, treaty, constitution, government document);


Survey Research (e.g., market surveys, public opinion polls);

Video recordings (e.g. television programs);

Works of art, architecture, literature, and music (e.g., paintings, sculptures, musical scores, buildings, novels, poems).  Web site.


Secondary sources



 Secondary sources are less easily defined than primary sources. Generally, they are accounts written after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. They are interpretations and evaluations of primary sources. Secondary sources are not evidence, but rather commentary on and discussion of evidence. However, what some define as a secondary source, others define as a tertiary source. Context is everything.


Note: The definition of a secondary source may vary depending upon the discipline or context.

 Examples include:


Bibliographies (also considered tertiary);

Biographical works;

Commentaries, criticisms;

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias (also considered tertiary);


Journal articles (depending on the disciple can be primary);

Magazine and newspaper articles (this distinction varies by discipline);

Monographs, other than fiction and autobiography;

Textbooks (also considered tertiary);

Web site (also considered primary).


St. Thomas Aquinas College
125 Route 340
Sparkill, NY 10976



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