Publishers Trade List Annual
Use: lists publishers' catalogs submitted to Publishers Weekly
Relationships: basis for Books in Print from 1948 until Bowker expanded its database beyond PTLA in the 1970s
Annual listing of catalogs submitted by publishers to Publishers’ Weekly. In 1948, PTLA became the basis for the newly-created Books in Print (see below, noting that Books in Print expanded its database beyond PTLA in the 1970s). The publication of PTLA continued until 2001, when it merged online with Books in Print at http://www.booksinprint.com.
PTLA is an incredibly useful tool for identifying series numbers, although currently Google Books is the only semi-available source for scans of PTLA online. Searching for series numbers in Google Books often brings up PTLA volumes, but approximately 50% of the time the portion of the page that includes the series number is not viewable in Google Books. This impediment requires creative searching in order to force Google Books to return the proper portion of the page in its search results. It's a maddening but frequently fruitful process. Many research libraries do not hold complete runs of PTLA, certainly not for its earliest years and very rarely for any stretch of the 20th century.
Library of Congress has microfiche of PTLA from 1903-1981:
www.loc.gov/rr/microform/guide/pq.html (scroll to PTLA entry)
See also entry for Publishers’ Catalogs Annual (supposedly has 4x catalogs as PTLA)
www.loc.gov/rr/microform/services.html — access policies
Publishers’ Trade List Annual Index 1903-1963 (Westport, Conn., Meckler Publishing, 1980) — index to the PTLA microfiche
https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/viewFile/13778/15224 (review of index)
Sidney F. Huttner, The Publishers’ Trade List Annual and Book Collecting, 12 CAXTONIAN: JOURNAL OF THE CAXTON CLUB OF CHICAGO 10 (2004), available at https://works.bepress.com/shuttner/27/.