BIC Subject Categories and Qualifiers

This is BIC’s Subject Categories and Qualifiers Scheme, version 2.1 released November 2010, the standard classification scheme for the UK book trade and some other English language markets, available from

Note that BIC has announced that there will be no further development of the BIC scheme, and that Thema is its preferred subject scheme for current and future use. Browse the latest version of the Thema international, multilingual subject category scheme here.

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Code Description
B Biography and True Stories
Do not use “B” on individual books; select appropriate code(s) from Section B below
BG Biography: general
Note: with BG* codes, assign also a specific subject code where possible, eg AVGJ “Jazz”, WSJG “Golf”, etc
BJ Diaries, letters and journals
Note: use where diary or journal entries, or letters, are collected, rather than the work being written specifically as an autobiography. Use with an autobiography code from the BG sequence above to indicate area, eg for Samuel Pepys’ Diary use BGHA “Autobiography: historical, political and military” and BJ
BK Collected biographies
Use BK for biographies of several people in single book; use after appropriate BG* code where possible
BM Memoirs
Note: Memoirs are typically less structured and less encompassing than entire autobiographies. They are often about part of a life, eg childhood, and often about a public part of one’s life, eg a politician’s time in office, rather than one’s whole life. Use with an autobiography code from the BG sequence above to indicate area
BT True stories

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