Collectors of ancient and rare books in China had the habit of affixing personal seals onto the books, as a way to proclaim their ownership.  Oftentimes, seals were also an integral part of colophons.  Many of the rare texts today have multiple seals as beautiful as miniature engraving affixed. 

These seals usually included information such as their names and titles, their posts in the government, excerpts of a poem, and even sometimes their portraits.  Owners of the seals had to decide on the inscription style and the layout of the engraving.  Each seal, therefore, was itself a piece of art. 

These seals not only help us to understand how these texts had been passed down through generations, but also offer us a look into the lives of the sealers.  With the seals, we can better and more accurately date these books.  The seals, in a way, added values to the books. 

Despite small in size, these seals contain a vast amount of important hints to our history.  Many of the hidden messages from the seals, also, transcend beyond time.  There are truly a lot to be learned from these seals.