Here are a few examples of simple machines once in service to the library. Just levers and wedges with a few springs and hinges for good measure.
The perforator punches tiny holes into a book page to permanently mark it as Rice Library property. The embosser does not punch through the paper, but rather compresses and warps it to make particular shape, the Rice seal in this case. Neither is especially good for a book and they can quickly bring down the value of rare books. Thankfully, the practice has been discontinued. Nobody I spoke to in Cataloging could remember ever seeing either machine used, although evidence of them can be found in many of the older books all over the library. Here are some examples of the perforation, the embossed seal, and a First Edition First Issue of Newton’s Principia with a perforated title page D: