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
H Humanities
HB History
Note: do not use “HB” on individual books. For all HB* codes, assign also more specific Geographical and Time Period qualifiers where possible
HD Archaeology
Note: for all HD* codes, also assign more specific Geographical and Time Period qualifiers where possible
HP Philosophy
For philosophy of economics, use KCS “Economic theory and philosophy”; for philosophy of education, use JNA “Philosophy and theory of education”; for philosophy of history, use HBA “History: theory and methods”; for philosophy of law, use LAB “Jurisprudence and philosophy of law”; for philosophy of language, use CFA “philosophy of language”; for philosophy of mathematics, use PBB “Philosophy of mathematics”; for philosophy of religion, see HRAB “Philosophy of religion” and following; for philosophy of science, use PDA “Philosophy of science”; for semiotics / semiology, use GTE “Semiotics / semiology”
HR Religion and beliefs

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