91 - Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities

This Chapter has been extracted from the ONS Explanatory Notes and provides a more detailed explanation of possible activities that could fall within the SIC Codes related to the Chapter.

This division includes the activities of libraries and archives; the operation of museums of all kinds, botanical and zoological gardens; the operation of historical sites; nature reserves activities. It also includes the preservation and exhibition of objects, sites and natural wonders of historical, cultural or educational interest (e.g. world heritage sites, etc).

This division excludes:
- sports and amusement and recreation activities such as the operation of bathing beaches and recreation parks, see division 93

91.0 Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities

91.01 Library and archive activities

This class includes:
- documentation and information activities of libraries of all kinds, reading, listening and viewing rooms, public archives providing service to the general public or to a special clientele, such as students, scientists, staff, members as well as operation of government archives:
· organisation of a collection, whether specialised or not
· cataloguing collections
· lending and storage of books, maps, periodicals, films, records, tapes, works of art etc.
· retrieval activities in order to comply with information requests etc.
- stock photo and movie libraries and services

91.01/1 Library activities

This subclass includes:
- selection, acquisition and organisation of a collection which may be specialist or general, for lending or reference
- cataloguing and preservation of collections
- lending and storage of books, periodicals, CDs, DVDs, maps, music etc including materials in alternative formats
- offering access to IT facilities including internet
- retrieval activities in order to comply with information requests, reference enquiries etc, in person, via telephone, letter or internet
- making services available to general public or particular groups of users of the organisation eg, students, members, researchers, Members of Parliament
- additional services such as training courses (IT, information literacy, basic skills), user groups (reading, family history etc)
- organisation and running activities outside the library building for groups of users eg schools, conferences

91.01/2 Archive activities

This subclass includes:
- archive activities are about managing a unique accumulation of records (which can be paper, parchment, audio visual, digital)  representing the transactions of an individual, family, organisation (including records of Government, courts, businesses, charities) or society
- appraising and selecting archives to be kept for posterity on the basis of their continuing value as primary source material documenting the culture and history of an individual, organisation and society.
- preserving/conserving archive records (ranging in age from 1000 years old to 21st century emails) protecting them from the main threats (poor environmental conditions, theft)
- making available archives of all kinds to general public or to a special clientele such as students, scientists, through providing physical access in search rooms or remote access via the internet
- documenting archives according to the way they were organically created maintaining the original order, links between records and evidence of provenance.
- managing and implementing information policy (such as Freedom of Information, Data Protection, and enabling citizens to exercise their rights to access information), and managing current records

91.02 Museum activities

This class includes:
- operation of museums of all kinds:
· art museums, museums of jewellery, furniture, costumes, ceramics, silverware
· natural history, science and technological museums, historical museums, including military museums
· other specialised museums
• open-air museums

This class excludes:
- activities of commercial art galleries, see 47.78
- restoration of works of art and museum collection objects, see 90.03
- activities of libraries and archives, see 91.01

91.03 Operation of historical sites and buildings and similar visitor attractions

This class includes:
- operation and preservation of historical sites and buildings

This class excludes:
- renovation and restoration of historical sites and buildings, see section F

91.04 Botanical and zoological gardens and nature reserve activities

This class includes:
- operation of botanical and zoological gardens, including children's zoos
- operation of nature reserves, including wildlife preservation, etc.

This class excludes:
- landscape and gardening activities, see 81.30
- operation of sport fishing and hunting preserves, see 93.19


For all queries related to this Chapter or any other aspect of SIC Codes, please contact the Office of National Statistics on 01329 444970 or email classifications.helpdesk@ons.gov.uk.