The Master and Fellows together form the corporate body of the College. The Master is the head of the College and its administrative governor. He is an ex officio member of all College committees and is responsible for the general supervision of the College and enforcement of its laws. He also represents the College in its dealings with the University and other external bodies.
The Master's office, also served as the Registrary's office until 1996. A number of files reflect this dual function, particularly the personnel files for fellows and the general administrative files.
(See J. Venn et al., Gonville and Caius College Biographical History, 8 volumes (Cambridge, 1898 - 1998) and C. N. L. Brooke, A History of Gonville and Caius College (Boydell Press, 1996) for lists of the Masters of the College and histories of individual masterships)
The records relate to the government and administration of the college by the Master. Apart from small collections of papers relating to earlier masterships and the domestic administration of the Masters estate of Heacham, Norfolk, the main body of correspondence and administrative records date mainly from the 1950s to 1990s during the masterships of Nevill Mott (1959 - 1966), Joseph Needham (1966 - 1976), William Wade (1976 - 1988) and Peter Gray (1988 - 1996). They include:
- The Master's copy of the records of governance, including minutes of meetings of the College Council, and the General Meetings of Fellows
- Papers of College and inter-collegiate committees.
- Correspondence and administration files concerning internal matters, such as buildings, benefactions and trusts, properties, contacts with alumni, entertaining, and external representation of the Colleges views to other colleges, schools and universities, central government and international bodies.
- Files relating to the election of Fellows and College officers; admissions and the award of scholarships, studentships and prizes; and matters of teaching and personnel policy and administration.
- See records of governance (GOV) for the main series of the gesta
- See Bursarial records for further information about Heacham (BUR)
- See the papers of Ernest Stewart Roberts (PPC/ESR)
- See the personal papers of Joseph Needham for migrant magisterial records (PPC/JNM)
- See the diary of Nevill Mott for an account of his mastership (PPC/MOT). - See also the index to M.R. James' Catalogue of Manuscripts in the College Library for material relating to individual masters (particularly Mss 602 and 706).
- The following are mainly the personal and research papers of individual masters, however, some may include references to the College:
Thomas Legge, ms play, Cambridge University Library (an edition of Legges plays was produced by Dana Sutton, 1993)
Robert Brady, notes from the journals of Parliament, British Library, Manuscript Collections; two transcript copies of his treatise on Parliament, Bodleian Library, Oxford
James Burrough, Collectanea Buriensia, Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds Branch; Collectanea Buriensia (copy), British Library, Manuscript Collections; correspondence with Duke of Newcastle, British Library
John Smith, correspondence with Duke of Newcastle, British Library
Richard Belward, memoranda book, Cambridge University Archives
Martin Davy, letters to Sir James Smith, Linnean Society of London
Edwin Guest, letters to EA Freeman, John Rylands Library, Manchester
Norman Ferrers, letters to Oscar Browning, Kings College Modern Archive Centre, Cambridge; letters to Sir George Stokes, Cambridge University Library; letters to Lord Kelvin, Cambridge University Library
Ernest Stewart Roberts, letters to Oscar Browning, Kings College Modern Archive Centre, Cambridge
Hugh Kerr Anderson, correspondence and papers, Medical Research Council; correspondence and family papers, Cambridge University Library; correspondence with AV Hill, Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge
James Chadwick, correspondence and papers, Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge; correspondence with Niels Bohr, Niels Bohr Institute; correspondence with Egon Bretscher, Trinity College Library, Cambridge; correspondence with Sir Edward Bullard, Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge; correspondence with Lord Cherwell, Nuffield College Library, Oxford; correspondence with Ernest Rutherford, Cambridge University Library; correspondence relating to Society for Protection of Science and Learning, Bodleian Library, Oxford; correspondence, Liverpool University
Nevill Mott, correspondence with Lord Blackett, Royal Society; correspondence with Niels Bohr, Niels Bohr Institute; correspondence with Sir Edward Bullard, Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge; letters to JG Crowther, Sussex University Library; correspondence with CA Coulson, Bodleian Library, Oxford; correspondence with Sir Charles Frank, Bristol University Library; correspondence with F London, Duke University; correspondence with RE Peierls, Bodleian Library, Oxford; correspondence with EC Stoner, Leeds University.
Joseph Needham, scientific, personal and family papers, Cambridge University Library; papers, East Asian History of Science Library; papers relating to chemical and biological warfare, Imperial War Museum Department of Documents; correspondence with Sir Henry Dale, Public Record Office; correspondence with Sir Julian Huxley, Rice University; correspondence with Charles Singer, Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine; correspondence to Society for Protection of Science & Learning, Bodleian Library, Oxford. (NUACS lists are available for the large collections of personal papers held in Cambridge and held by the Imperial War Museum).