In the past stamps were used to locate books and provide other relevant identifying information. Books were often stamped on their text block or in another location in the book to identify it indelibly as belonging to the University of Chicago Library. Journals were bound by title. A shelve by title stamp was needed to distinguish where to put them in the stacks.
Journal and some paperbacks books were often too fragile to be placed in the stacks without being bound with a hardcover first. Journals were usually bound in bundles to save money and space.