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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. Raster (Haarlem, 1834); Van der Linde, De Haarlemsche Costerlegende (Hague, 1870).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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