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329 West 18th Street Suite #610
Chicago, Illinois 60616
(312) 243-1808

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Paul Shreves Collection, 1936-1946

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Collection Identifier: C.2012-11
Extent of collection
6 reels of 16mm film totaling approximately 600 feet
This collection of home movies was shot by Paul Shreves, who grew up in the Angel Guardian Orphanage (now known as Misericordia Home North), located at 2001 W. Devon Avenue, in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. The home movies document leisure scenes from the orphanage and the surrounding area, including Halloween celebrations and picnics.
Shreves, Paul (created by)
Little is known about Paul Shreves at this time. He was born around 1920 and was raised in the Angel Guardian Orphanage, located in Chicago's Roger's Park neighborhood. He and his wife lived in the Sauganash neighborhood of Chicago from approximately 1940 to 2005. At Christmas, the two decorated their front walkway as "Candy Cane Lane," which often attracted local visitors during the holiday season. Paul played the organ as a hobby, and had a theater-style pipe organ in the basement of his home. His house was later sold with the organ intact, as it could not be removed without destroying it. Paul Shreves passed away around 2005 with no next of kin. The organization in charge of liquidating his estate gave his home movies to Paul's friend, Ray Mertens (1920-2010). Paul and Ray met as alter boys at St. Henry's Church (North Ridge Avenue, Chicago, IL 60660) and through the greenhouse Ray's father owned on Wolcott Avenue.
Custodial History
The films were originally shot and cared for by Paul Shreves. Having no next of kin, the films were given to Ray Mertens (a friend of Paul's) by those liquidating the Shreves' estate. The films were then passed onto Ray's daughter, Diana Mertens, who donated the films to CFA in November of 2012.
Language of Materials