Publishers Trade List Annual

Years: 1873-2001

Frequency: 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

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:

Publishers’ Trade List Annual Index 1903-1963 (Westport, Conn., Meckler Publishing, 1980) — index to the PTLA microfiche