Who or What is ARCHIE?
Archie was developed at the McGill University Computing Centre, Canada, as a service to help users to locate files and directories on anonymous FTP servers anywhere on the Internet.
Administrators all over the world would register anonymous FTP servers with the Archie service; once a month the Archie service ran a program scanning the directories and filenames contained in each of the registered FTP servers, and generated a large merged list of all the files and directories contained in all the registered servers.
The Archie database was made available on several Archie servers, all of which contained the same information.
Administrators could also provide a short description of software packages contained in the files or directories at their site, but did not have to do so. The descriptions may or may not be kept up to date: there was no pressure on administrators to do this.
Files made available at anonymous FTP sites contain software packages for various systems, utilities, information or documentation, mailing lists or Usenet group discussion archives. At most FTP sites, the resources are organised hierarchically in directories and subdirectories. The Archie database contained both the directory path and the file names.
Alas... fully working Archie servers do not exist any more. Web based FTP Search Engines eventually replaced the Archie Service.