Alan Emtage: The Black Engineer Who Created the First Internet Search Engine, ARCHIE

In 1989, Alan Emtage, a graduate student from Barbados, enrolled at McGill University in Canada’s capital city of Montreal. In his role as a systems administrator in the university’s IT department, he was tasked with tracking down necessary software for faculty and students by scouring FTP servers across the nascent internet. In an effort to save time, he decided to name his FTP search engine “ARCHIE” (without the “v”) and had code written to perform searches for him.


ARCHIE searches 2.1 million files at over 1200 sites in minutes. ARCHIE searches the Internet for keyword-related files. ARCHIE data bases are updated monthly globally due to daily file growth. Nearly three decades later, we can see Emtage’s legacy in how search has changed how we find information and the speed in which we can have that information at our finger tips. To learn more about Alan Emtage and the first search engine, ARCHIE, click the link below!