Ok cool thanks for that. I have ngeatives going back as far as the 70's and would like to eventually get them all done. The fact that I hop between the US and here means carrying photo albums is out of the question not to mention the obvious advantage of having everything backed up on CD, hdd or memory stick.
Cost might be an issue even at the price trog mentioned but it's not like I have to get everything done all at once.
If you have a shitload of them and you only want to digitise them, you could probably by a scanner that is capable of doing negatives reasonably cheaply and do them all yourself. First thing on Google I found: http://www.hp.com/united-states/consumer/digital_photography/organize_archive_photos/tips/scanning_slides.html
I sort of assume these things are relatively commonplace now but don't really know for sure.