gopher began as a distributed campus information service at the University of Minnesota. Gopher allows the user to access information on Gopher servers running on Internet hosts.
Gopher is an Internet information browsing service that uses a menu-driven interface. Users select information from menus, which may return another menu or display a text file. An item may reside on a Gopher server you originally queried, or it may be on another Gopher server (or another host). Gopher can “tunnel” from one Gopher to another without the user knowing that the server and/or host machine have changed. Gopher keeps the exact location of computers hidden from the user, providing the “illusion” of a single, large set of interconnected menus.
Gopher permits the user to record an item's location in a “bookmark” thereby allowing users to follow a “bookmark” directly to a particular item without searching the menu system. Gopher menus are not standardized, inasmuch as each Gopher server is individually determined.