Archie is (was) an early search program that indexed files on anonymous File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers and allowed users to search for specific files. Archie was created by a team of students at McGill University in 1990 - before the World Wide Web led to the adoption of Hypertext as a means of navigation. Archie helped users find files in the directories of public hosts that they might never have otherwise discovered.
Archie was short for archiver, and that is what it did. It ran a script that gathered data from accessible FTP servers and created a database of all the files on publicly accessible FTP sites. This index could then be searched by users, resulting in a list of file matches and the FTP site where it could be found. Archie used regular expressions to handle its search queries.
Archie inspired later search programs called Veronica and Jughead, but none of these could index the content of a file – just the file name. Archie dwindled in importance as the Web expanded, bringing new competitors and new methods of search.