The Gopher technology was invented at the University of Minnesota, whose mascot is, not surprisingly, the Golden Gopher. The gopher system allows people to search for and retrieve information using a text interface. The technology is based on a client-server structure, where a gopher client program is used to search gopher servers. These servers can store documents, articles, programs, and other information. Instead of hyperlinks, the gopher interface uses menus of links to other documents and programs.
The University of Minnesota began a licensing program for the gopher technology in 1993 as the use of gopher was spreading rapidly over the Internet. However, this was around the same time that the World Wide Web was introduced. Because the Web used hypertext and images, it soon became the preferred way to search and browse for information. While there are still servers and client programs that use gopher technology, their use is not nearly as widespread as the Web.