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THEMA: A new book classification system

Ivan O’Brien of O’Brien Press gave a detailed account of THEMA at our annual Trade Day last Friday. For anyone who missed the session or for those of you that would like to know more, below are some details on what THEMA is, as well as some links for more information on the system.

THEMA is the replacement for the BIC book classification system (along with BISAC and many others around the world): there’s a full explanation here: All existing BIC codes will migrate across to THEMA but there are additional codes (see the full code tree here: and the facility to have national extensions, to allow individual countries to classify their books in a way that aligns with the publishing, bookselling and educational systems in those countries. An Irish THEMA committee (comprised of Ivan O’Brien, Jane Alger and Anna Farmar) has developed a Draft Irish national thema extensions, which will be submitted for approval before the end of the year.


Additional codes can be added as required over time as the industry evolves, but please consider whether any important Irish book identifiers might be missing and suggest any amendments to

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