I hope this isn't too stupid a question and that I can explain myself clearly enough.
As a result of some problems I had with a couple of my drives, I've accidentally ended up with two Lightroom Classic catalogs which I now need to combine. This doesn't seem to be as easy as I thought. When combining the catalogs, I've ended up with a very high number of duplicate images in the merged catalog. I also note that, when importing from the other catalog, while the images are brought in, the collections are not retained.
Is there a way can resolve both or either of these issues? Or any suggestions how I get around them.
If you imported images twice already (once in each catalog), then you will indeed get duplicates if you simply merge the entire catalogs. What you need to do is designate one catalog as the master, and then export those images from the other catalog that are not in the master as a new (temporary) catalog. Then only import this temporary catalog. Collections should be retained if you do it properly.
Sorry Johan, not sure if I get what you are suggesting. Can you clarify a little please?
apologies for the delay in responding. Thanks so much for posting your advice. I wonder if you could just clarify what you meant in your comments:
"What you need to do is designate one catalog as the master (how do I do that?), and then export those images from the other catalog that are not in the master as a new (temporary) catalog (how do I know which images are not in the master?). Then only import this temporary catalog. Collections should be retained if you do it properly."
Apologies for my ignorance. I am highly creative byt techically illiterate. Hope you can be patient with me!
The problem you are having with duplicates across multiple catalogs there are several ways to resolv this, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. This is a good reason in the future (and for anyone else reading along) to use one catalog, and do not import a photo file more than once.
To solve your specific problem, you choose a catalog to be the master (you just decide in your mind that this one is the master) and then you open this master catalog and you import the other catalogs into that one master catalog. Please follow the instructions at https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-classic/help/import-photos-various-sources.html (scroll down to the section entitled "Import photos from a different Lightroom Classic catalog"). Then next to bullet #5, there are options on how to handle duplicates, you can choose which one you prefer.