Anna Lisa Rolf was born in Stockholm as daughter of the architect Ludvig Petersson. After completing her upper secondary schooling in 1905 at Lyceum för Flickor in Stockholm, she went to Uppsala, where she became a close friend of Emilia Fogelklou, among others. She graduated from university in 1910, obtaining a doctorate in 1926 with a thesis on the history of religion. Lisa Rolf first worked as a teacher, but after her doctorate worked in a library, moving to Lund in 1927, where she helped establish the city library there. She is mentioned in Emilia Fogelklou's work Barhuvad of 1950.