Publishing and printing

   Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press (about 1454 in the city of Mainz, Germany) rap idly spread throughout Europe. In the 1470s, printers were active in Aalst (Flanders), Louvain (Brabant), Utrecht, Delft, Deventer, Gouda, Nijmegen, and Zwolle (in the Northern provinces). The in vention of printing is often erroneously attributed to Laurens Jans zoon Coster of Haarlem, although the first printing office in Haar lem was not established until 1483. Not only did the humanists take advantage of book printing to circulate their learned Latin treatises and text editions, but writings in the vernacular also found many buy ers. In 1477, the first Bible in the Dutch language was printed, at Delft. Following the Reformation, the printing industry flourished in the Netherlands; not only were religious and political documents published, but especially many pamphlets commenting on the polit ical issues of the time. In the 16th and 17th centuries, several famous publishing houses were active, such as Plantijn and Moretus (Antwerp), Elsevier (Leiden), and Blaeu (Amsterdam). The con siderable increase in publishing and printing has led to several great publishing giants during the last centuries, such as Reed Elsevier, VNU (a merger of De Spaarnestad and Cebema in 1964, called the Nielsen Company since 2007), De Telegraaf Holding, Wegener, and Wolters Kluwer (a merger of Wolters Samson and Kluwer in 1997). They are employers of thousands of people.
   See also BOOK TRADE.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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