This question arises out of this question here. Basically, I was hoping that someone could help me find an English translation of a 1722 work by Nicolas de la Mare, titled Traité de la Police or "Treatise on the Police". A commenter stated they could find no such copy, and recommended another intriguing book, Grundsätze der Policey-Wissenschaften or "Principles of Policey Sciences" (that is what the webpage gives me, I'm pretty sure "Police Sciences" would be also be an accurate translation) written sometime before 1756 in German. The commenter remarks that there was a Spanish translation but that they were unable to find an English one.
So, I wanted to know how much translation services were. I found a Spanish-to-English book translation service that advertised $30 a page on their website. Volume 1 of Traité de la Police is 1,000 pages long, while Grundsätze der Policey-Wissenschaften is about 400 pages. That would be $120,000 for the former four volume set, assuming that each volume has 1,000 pages, and $12,000 for the latter book. Both of those figures are laughably out of the question for me; the former, hysterically so.
Now, I really do feel these are important books, in an untold part of the story of the development of policing large cities. In addition, I know if I spoke multiple languages, and I came across an important book in one language that has NEVER been translated to my other known language, translating it would be something I would do for fun. But, don't translators get to copyright and sell their translations (if they're translating a work in the public domain)? So, it would seem there would be a financial motive to translate important past works. Of course, you could never be certain, after all, if it hasn't been translated in all these years, how important is the book? Still, the fact that I could make ANY money off of doing an activity so fascinating and that I genuinely enjoy doing would be icing on the cake.
So, all of this made me wonder, is there some movement, website, or group who volunteer their translation abilities to important historical works? Or, is there any place I could suggest to translators that they translate a specific book, even if they then make money off it? Like, is there any way I could suggest to publishers that they do a translation of a certain work?
Just to be clear, I am reasonably certain that neither of these books discuss police forces in any way similar to modern forces. "Policing" is just how they kept order; however, these are the differences I am interested in. Thanks for any help or suggestions.