At Cambridge, the Registrary is also Secretary to the University Council. As the head of the University's Unified Administrative Service, the Registrary is responsible for the central management and the non-academic services of the University. The Registrary has control of the University Chest (formerly a physical chest in which the funds of the University were held secure, now a metaphor for the University's bank accounts). The actual chest is still kept in the Registrary's office. It is over 600 years old and is locked with 17 locks. The previous chest was burned in the Cambridge Peasants Revolt of 1381. Until the 14th Century, the University's books were also kept in the chest.
The office of the Registrary was established in 1506, to compile and maintain the records of the University. The office has been held by only 26 persons in continuous succession since that date. Many early Registraries held, or had held, the office of Esquire Bedell. The current Registrary is Dr Jonathan Nicholls, who took office in October 2007.