My question is: In LRC when you make a collection are you able to transfer those images to a thumb drive and if so how do you do that? I've been using LR for a good number of years but I never had a reason until now to make the transfer of about 500+ images!
By “transfer” do you mean you want the originals to be permanently moved to the thumb drive and also removed from your computer and Lightroom Classic, or you want the thumb drive to contain copies of the images that include their Lightroom Classic edits?
If you mean the latter, then you simply select the images, click the Export button (or choose File > Export), choose options like the file format, and set the export destination to be the thumb drive. In other words, it’s the same as exporting images from folders.
Everything Conrad said is correct. But, if you want to make a copy of the 500+ Oringal images to put on a thumb drive, here is how. Select the Collection and export it as a new catalog. Include the option to "include negatives", which actually means original images. I don't think you will be able to make the export directly to the thumb drive, but you can try. If not, export it somewhere temporary. Copy the exported photos to the thumb drive when you are done.
If these images have edits that need to be included in the transfer, you should follow Conrad's method.