I have been using Photoshop Elements for many years, and am currentlty using version 2020. I have never created Catalogs in the past, which has resulted in me having nearly 35,000 photos in "My Catalog". The recent 2020 "for Dummies" tutorial mentions using catalogs to reduce the volume of the current workspace, but doesn't say much more. I find that the Adobe website doesn't address this function much either. Can someone point me to a website with good guidance, or tell me how to accomplish this task (if, indeed, it is the best solution)? I'm guessing that if I place groups of older photos into various catalogs, and then keep only a few thousand current photos in "My Catalog", performance will be quite faster/improved. Can I just create a catalog, place certain photos in it, delete those photos from My Catalog, and then switch to the old catalog when I want access to those photos?
The new catalog can be created via File->Manage Catalogs, a dialog box would open up and there would be an option to create a new catalog. All the catalogs for current version are listed in Manage catalogs dialog box and you can switch between them from this dialog box. In new catalog you can import the photos and can create new tags, albums, mark people for tagging and organize the media.
The recent 2020 "for Dummies" tutorial mentions using catalogs to reduce the volume of the current workspace, but doesn't say much more.
I have no idea what that means. If it is talking about reducing storage on a hard drive, I think the opposite would be true since there would be duplication of program files needed for each catalog. Perhaps you misunderstood what was being said.
I think anyone around here with experience will tell you not to split up your catalog. It defeats the whole purpose of having a catalog, namely to find a file instantly without having to worry which catalog you may have put it in. That is why you cannot find any authorative text recommending that practice.
You indicate that you hope for some improvement in performance if you split up your photos into separate catalogs. A catalog of 36,000 photos is not particularly large and should not affect performance in any significant way. I can't imagine that you would notice any difference, even if you have a very old and slow computer. Do you actually have any performance issues with your catalog? Certainly, issues such as face recognition analysis and smart tagging can take up some heavy resources while the analysis is being conducted. But after that is completed, the problem should be negligible.