The collection went away

Godfrey DiGiorgi gdigiorgi at
Thu Oct 15 18:02:15 EDT 2009

On Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 9:42 PM, Larry Colen <lrc at> wrote:
> Let's say that I want to create an ubercatalog, as suggested.
> And lets assume that I don't want to lose the work that I've already
> done on my 20 or so catalogs of about 570 directories with about
> 62,000 photos.
> Godfrey said that I should merge catalogs. But, when I look in the
> indexes of my lightroom books, neither said anything about merging
> catalogs.
> When I look at the menu there is
> new catalog
> open catalog
> and open recent (which seems to be recent catalog)

File menu, "Import from catalog..."

- Create a new catalog
- Use "Import from catalog" on each catalog you want to bring into the merge
- For import options, unless you want to use Lightroom to reorganize
your file system for you, it makes the most sense to import files in
place and create virtual copies for files that might be replicated
across several catalogs.

Consider a Lightroom catalog as an entity completely independent of
the 'Original Image File Repository' (OFR), but linked to its
location. You can structure the OFR any way you want, design it any
way that makes sense to you. Some people prefer a date based directory
tree, others prefer a category/event based directory tree. Lightroom
has facilities that can automate moving the files into a date based
directory tree, based on image metadata, but using them is completely

The most important things to be aware of when creating an OFR is to ensure that
  a) you can add new files to it in a rational way as time goes on, and
  b) it is easy to back up.
Rooting your OFR with a single root (and a single root on each volume
it spans if you have to use multiple drives) allows for very easy
backup and replication of the OFR. It also allows you to move the OFR
and reconnect with a Lightroom catalog very easily, when it becomes
necessary to do so.

If you structure things right and use Lightroom's keywording, filters,
search, collection and metadata tools and capabilities correctly, the
long long list in the Folders panel is irrelevant: you only rarely
have to navigate using that.

My OFR is structured by date, I also maintain Collection sets which
organize image files by category/month/year. I keyword liberally and
find things very very quickly in a data space of 230,000 files, with
hundreds of subfolders.

More information about the PDML mailing list