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
W Lifestyle, sport and leisure
Note: many headings in Section W relate closely to headings in other sections. Use Section W for popular accounts for general readership; prefer Sections A, K, P, R, T, etc, as appropriate, for serious, specialist and academic works. Do not use “W” on individual books; select appropriate code(s) from Section W below
WC Antiques and collectables
WCB Antiques and collectables: buyer’s guides
Class here: price guides, guides to auctions, valuation, etc. See also UDBA “Online shopping and auctions”
WCC Care and restoration of antiques
WCF Coins, banknotes, medals, seals (numismatics)
WCG Stamps, philately
WCJ Antique clocks, watches, musical boxes and automata
WCK Militaria, arms and armour
WCL Antique furniture / furniture collecting
WCN Antiques and collectables: ceramics and glass
WCP Antiques and collectables: jewellery
WCR Antiques and collectables: gold and silver (other than jewellery)
WCS Antiques and collectables: books, manuscripts, ephemera and printed matter
Note: includes cigarette cards, postcards, comics, autographs, photographs, phonecards, etc
WCU Antiques and collectables: pictures, prints and maps
WCV Antiques and collectables: carpets, rugs and textiles
Note: includes lace, costume and accessories, quilts, embroidery, samplers, tapestries, etc
WCW Antiques and collectables: toys, games and models
Note: includes dolls, dolls’ houses, tin-plate toys, teddy bears, etc
WCX Antiques and collectables: scientific and musical instruments
Note: except clocks, musical boxes etc – for these, see WCJ “Antique clocks, watches, musical boxes and automata”

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