I have a student – we are each working remotely on this, not in person – who is trying to reconcile multiple LR Classic Catalogs. For various reasons, over the years, they have created different Catalog versions and is now keen to create one proper "master" Catalog, incorporating the earlier Cats.
I've advised them to make sure that all their legacy Cats are in one place, then export all, one-by-one through File>Export as Catalog, then import each one-by-one into a new, virgin Catalog container. In this world, I am sugggesting that they import each set of folders into an encompassing folder, which will allow them to later go and weed out duplicates (yes, even with "Don't Import Suspected Duplicates" ticked, it can happen, for reasons known only to the higher powers…). The aim is to have all the key legacy Catalogs/images/edits in one master container, weed it and then start a new life with a clean data set.
BUT… this is complicated by the fact the the list of their Cats also contains multiple updates (ie "-2", "-3" and so on). There's no easy way to tell which is the key one to work with, so I've suggested using the highest iteration in a particular named Catalog. Trying to use " CMD I" to get info yields unreliable results, as each new update creates a new date of creation and so on. Clicking on a legacy Catalog in a newer version automatically creates an updated Catalog, so one can get things pretty complicated pretty quickly.
This is still further complicated by a syntax change in Catalog naming, as you'll see in the attachment. We start with "LR Cat 2.lrcat". This is familiar to me. Suddenly we see the arrival of "Local Catalogue-2-2".
So first of all, I have shortened my workflow for brevity, but does anyone have a better approach to tame this chaos?
Second of all: why are his Catalogs now "Local…"; they tell me that they are sure all their Catalogs have always been local, ie on the machine, but there is a huge suyntax change here and I'm wondering what it signifies. Further to this, you'll notice that the word "Catalog" is now showing as "Catalogue", in other words with British spelling applied. I'm unaware of being able to change this in LR Prefs and they assure me that, in any event, they didn't do so.
So people don't have to download the image you have attached to your post please Edit your post to remove the Attached screen shot and Include it in the body of the text of your post.
You do that by Clicking the "More..." link at the bottom of your post, Selecting "Edit Message" and then use the "Insert Photos" icon in the tool bar at the top of the Post/Reply/Edit dialog box like this.
If the collection of Catalog files he has accumulated over the years are from older LrC versions then his current catalog should already be a combination of them all already. Newer versions of LrC make copies of the olderversions catalog file and Upgrade that copy to work with newer versions of LrC.
The catalog I use as my main catalog (I only have 2 catalogs. One is a Test catalog and the other my main working catalog) started back in 2007 when I installed Lr verion ONE ( 1 ). It has been copied from computer to computer and upgraded to newer versions as I have upgraded LrC. It is the same catalog, basically, that I started with in 2007.