1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Koster, Laurens

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33088731911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 15 — Koster, Laurens

KOSTER (or Coster), LAURENS (c. 1370–1440), Dutch printer, whose claims to be considered at least one of the inventors of the art (see Typography) have been recognized by many investigators. His real name was Laurens Janssoen-Koster (i.e. sacristan) being merely the title which he bore as an official of the great parish church of Haarlem. We find him mentioned several times between 1417 and 1434 as a member of the great council, as an assessor (scabinus), and as the city treasurer. He probably perished in the plague that visited Haarlem in 1439–1440; his widow is mentioned in the latter year. His descendants, through his daughter Lucia, can be traced down to 1724.

See Peter Scriver, Beschryvinge der Stad Harlem (Haarlem, 1628); Scheltema, Levensschets van Laurens d. Koster (Haarlem, 1834); Van der Linde, De Haarlemsche Costerlegende (Hague, 1870).