The roots of the Stadtbibliothek go back to the library attached to the Jesuit College, which was founded in 1560 and served as a university library. Around the year 1800, the stock of the library was greatly expanded through the acquisition of manuscripts and printed works from monasteries in Trier Land. The present building, erected in 1957, is currently being completely refurbished to ensure it provides optimum conditions for the storage and study of the valuable collections it houses.

Besides conserving the old stocks, the Stadtbibliothek also acts as a Landesbibliothek for the Trier region, meaning that (with the financial support of the Land Rheinland-Pfalz) it acquires and provides access to regional literature, it collects, as far as possible, copies of every printed item published in the region, and collaborates with other libraries on the production of the Rheinland-Pfälzische Bibliographie. The two locations of the Stadtbibliothek, on Weberbach and in Palais Walderdorff, are electronically linked.