Eddie's Archive is a box set, released on 16 November 2002. The box, an embossed metal casket featuring the face of mascot Eddie, contains three double CDs, the Iron Maiden family tree and a shot glass. The family tree is an updated version of the family tree that originally came with A Real Dead One in 1993.
Eddie's Archive was originally released as a limited edition, with the family tree numbered. However, due to demand, it was later re-released with a different color inlay (changed from blue to red) and with the family tree unnumbered, in order to preserve the value of the original issue.
Speaking about the box set, bassist and band founder Steve Harris commented, "Eddie's Archive was released for the real collector. We always try hard to keep the quality there for people. We would make a hell of a lot more money if we didn't package a release looking like that, but we do it because we're proud of the Iron Maiden legacy and want to treat the fans with respect."
This tin box looks and feels a little bit like the biscuit boxes some of us know from our childhood. Although it doesn't look in any way exceptional from the outside, with its figures embossed into the metal, it contains a real treasure. The shot glass and Iron Maiden family tree as a scroll held by a signet-ring aren't anything special and will only please those who like non-audio/video Maiden items - collectors only! However, the three double CDs that can be found inside this treasure-chest are absolutely essential for all Maiden-lovers who enjoy rare pieces of recordings and who are interested in Maiden's early days.
Eddie's Archive is the perfect present for those who know a Maiden fan who hasn't got it in his collection yet. Newer fans may be a bit surprised by what they'll hear at first, as Maiden's early sound was quite different to what it is today but they'll grow to like it too! -; and older fans will be given the perfect material to reminisce of their first Maiden gigs and of their first albums and singles. In other words, the purchase of this item is guaranteed to please anyone who's into Maiden - much more than any grotty “best of” or “greatest hits” compilation!