The magazine article Henry refers to is excellent! At the same time, let's start from the beginning.
You can read Landscape Drainage, and eventually get to 'How to construct a french drain'. The keys to this type of job are: 1) Eliminate the obvious sources of water. Clogged downspouts, overflowing gutters, downspout drainage, negative slope, and so on. 2) Use the right piping, 3) install the piping in the 'proper place(s)', 4) install at the right depth AND with the right slope, 5) wrap everything in Landscape Fabric / Filter Fabric; NOT Weed Block, 6) make sure where the water ends up is NOT on your neighbors lot but either at the street or on your lot where it is adequately absorbed (even in a worst-case scenario).
Check out Henry's reference at The Family Handyman, and order a back-issue. Maybe it's still at the news stand because it's the 'current' issue. Maybe a good library has it too.
My best to ya and hope this helps.
PS: Flyers beat the Bruins, 3-0! (My friends told me I had a good time!)