VitalSource was founded in 1994 in San Antonio, Texas by Dr. Robert Todd Watkins, Jr.
The company’s first commercial implementations kicked off in 2000 when the small group of dental schools piloted the use of an early course materials solution, DVDs that held full digital versions of each student’s entire four years of textbooks, workbooks, lectures slides, manuals, and handbooks. The digital curriculum was updated each semester and stayed with students after graduation as a professional resource.
In July 2006, the company was acquired by Ingram Content Group. VitalSource now acts as a subsidiary of Ingram Industries.
In 2019, the company partnered with Barne’s & Noble Education to expand access to and implement BNED’s “FirstDay” Inclusive Access program, which gives students access to course materials by or before the first day of class each term.
In August 2022, VitalSource began carrying Labster’s complete portfolio of science lab simulations.
VitalSource maintains a corporate office in Raleigh, North Carolina.