The resolution for the establishment of a library was presented the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International’s (STTI) House of Delegates in 1979 by Virginia Henderson, Eleanor Herrmann and Anne Bavier. From that time forward, STTI’s leaders and membership were committed to developing a national nursing library resource offering services to nurses and those interested in nursing.

In 1985, STTI received a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., to fund activities and explore the development of a Center for Nursing Scholarship with a computerized library in Indianapolis, Ind., USA. Because of the dedication and support STTI received from its leaders, membership, nursing colleagues and friends of nursing, the Center was completed and dedicated in only four years.

The dream became a reality in December 1990, when Miss Virginia Henderson gave her approval for STTI’s electronic library to be named in her honor. The nursing resources developed for the library moved to the Internet in 1995, through funding from the Helene Fuld Health Trust.

The library received an extraordinary gift of US $2 million in 2000 from the generous Indianapolis philanthropist, Ruth Lilly, to expand and develop nursing research resources online.

In January 2001, library visioning meetings were held. Participants included representatives from around the world and individuals with diversified backgrounds such as research, library science, informatics and integrated technology. Based on information received from the participants at the visioning meetings, input from library users and advice from library consultants, a futuristic plan of action was developed, and the library resources were expanded on the Web.

The Virginia Henderson International Nursing Library website was re-designed in 2011 and operates within an improved environment that includes a more efficient data management system and powerful search engine.

In 2013 the library completed its transformation to an open-access, full-text academic and clinical repository.  The transformation included a name change: The Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository. It also included a peer-review element for all works submitted to any of the collections under the Independent Submissions community; a unique endeavor for a scholarly repository!

There is no charge to submitting nurse authors for open-access or delayed-access status. The Henderson Repository remains free to all online patrons accessing any information contained in the repository.