Anneliese Maier was the daughter of the philosopher Heinrich Maier (1876–1933). She studied natural sciences and philosophy from 1923 to 1926 at the universities in Berlin and Zurich. In 1930 she finished her dissertation on Immanuel Kant (Kants Qualitätskategorien). She then worked for the Prussian Academy of Sciences. In 1936 she moved to Rome. There she worked until 1945 at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana on the philosophy of nature.
In 1951 Maier became an honorary professor. She became a member of the Academies of Sciences in (1949), Göttingen (1962) and Munich (1966). In 1966 she received the George Sarton Medal for her profound studies on the history of natural philosophy in the Middle Ages. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has named a research grant after her, the Anneliese Maier Research Award, which is a "collaboration award to promote the internationalisation of the humanities and social sciences in Germany."
- On the Threshold of Exact Science: Selected Writings of Anneliese Maier on Late Medieval Natural Philosophy, Steven D. Sargent, ed. and trans. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982).
- Kants Qualitätskategorien, 1930.
- Die Mechanisierung des Weltbildes im 17. Jahrhundert, 1938.
- Studien zur Naturphilosophie der Spätscholastik, 5 parts, 1949–1958.
- Ausgehendes Mittelalter: Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Geistesgeschichte des 14. Jahrhunderts, 3 volumes, 1964–1977.
- "Anneliese Maier Research Award" Humboldt Foundation. https://www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/anneliese-maier-award.html
- Annette Vogt, "Von Berlin nach Rom - Anneliese Maier (1905-1971)", in MPI für Wissenschaftsgeschichte (ed.), Steiner Vlg., Stuttgart 2004, pp. 391–414.