Archiving old media is a time-consuming process, unfortunately. How many is "several" in your case? If it's more than a dozen or so you will probably run out of time and patience and will want to consider only doing the most precious ones or else paying someone else to do it. Also it may take a bit of experimentation to get the quality right. I asked around my friends and this is a common experience - so much so that I was considering making a business out of it.
If you're considering outsourcing, there are quite a few companies that will do this for you for around $10 per tape. Obviously this can get expensive if you have hundreds of tapes - it's up to you to decide how much your time and the tapes are worth to you. Unless you're willing to trust the post (or a courier) with your tapes, you'll need to find a local company.
A reputable commercial company is likely to get a better result than you would yourself, unless you're the obsessive compulsive type (not unlikely on Slashdot, I guess.)