Alan Emtage

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Alan Emtage

Alan Emtage July 2019.jpg
Emtage in 2019
Born (1964-11-27) November 27, 1964 (age 58)
CitizenshipBarbadian, Canadian, American
Alma materMcGill University (BSc)
McGill University (MSc)
Known forArchie (search engine)
Parent(s)Sir Stephen Emtage
Margot Lady Emtage

Alan Emtage (born November 27, 1964) is a Bajan-Canadian computer scientist who conceived and implemented the first version of Archie, a pre-Web Internet search engine for locating material in public FTP archives. It is widely considered the world's first Internet search engine.


Emtage was born in Barbados, the son of Sir Stephen and Lady Emtage. He attended high school at Harrison College from 1975 to 1983 (and in 1981 became the owner of a Sinclair ZX81 with 1K of memory), where he graduated at the top of his class, winning the Barbados Scholarship.

In 1983 Emtage entered McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, studying for an honors Bachelor's degree in computer science which was followed by a Master's degree in 1987 from which he graduated in 1991. Emtage was part of the team that brought the first Internet link to eastern Canada (and only the second link in the country) in 1986. In 1989 while a student and working as a systems administrator for the School of Computer Science, Emtage conceived and implemented the original version of the Archie search engine, the world's first Internet search engine.

In 1992, Emtage along with Peter Deutsch, also a McGill graduate, formed Bunyip Information Systems in Montreal—the world's first company expressly founded for and dedicated to providing Internet information services with a licensed commercial version of the Archie search engine.

Emtage was a founding member of the Internet Society and went on to create and chair several working groups at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the standard-setting body for the Internet. Working with other pioneers such as Tim Berners-Lee, Marc Andreessen, Mark McCahill (creator of Gopher) and Jon Postel, Emtage co-chaired the Uniform Resource Identifier working group which created the standard for Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

On September 18, 2017 Emtage was inducted as an Innovator by the Internet Society into the Internet Hall of Fame in a ceremony in Los Angeles.[1][2]

On October 20, 2019 Emtage was conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from the University of the West Indies.[3]

On October 26, 2022 Emtage was conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from McGill University. [4]

Emtage has spoken and lectured on Internet Information Systems and is chief technical officer at Mediapolis, a Web engineering company in New York City.



  1. ^ "Recognizing Internet visionaries, innovators, and leaders from around the world".
  2. ^ "Internet Hall of Fame - Innovator Alan Emtage".
  3. ^ "Three To Receive Honorary Doctorates".
  4. ^ "Honorary Degree recipients offer words of wisdom to Class of 2022".
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