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Merging LR3 catalogs?


Workshop Member
I can t imagine I am in a unique position with my implementation of LR3. I have two major catalogs ...(1)LR2 Legacy and (2) LR3 Beta.

The Lr3 Beta opened without issue in Lr3 and I have been able to use it successfully for a few shoots originally worked thru the Lr3 Beta. This catalog has 10K images.

The Lr2 Legacy was converted to the Lr3 format when I selected to open LR3 with a different catalog . There are some metadata exceptions and a few files that may need some help but it looks good. This is my large archive 52K images.

I really would like to Merge the two catalogs so that I can easily build collections from different time periods. For example I want to go back to 2008/9 and pull my SF images before out trip this week. I would like to work the selects in Lr3 and take advantage of the new raw conversion .

The normal recommended solution is to first back up both catalogs(done). The create a new catalog from the file menu (call this MERGED) . Then import each catalog individually.

I can import either catalog into MERGED and get a good working catalog but when go to bring the 2nd catalog in..the process aborts. I am told that if I have duplicate folders on import they will be identified and greyed out. But it appears that I might have duplicate images .

I know how to do this the hard way as there can only be a few thousand that overlapped between Lr2 and the LR3 beta(none are apparent from the folders ) .

Looking for an idea or to be put on the right path.


Contributing Editor
Here are my ideas:

1. Check whether you have overlap in folders (if, try to get the folders in both catalogs exclusive)

2. Enable "Write XMP data to file" and embed Process Data in TIFFs and JPEGs (found in CAtalog preferences)

3. Select which catalog is the main catalog

4. Open the other catalog (not the main), select all images and use "Save Metadata to file"

5. Close this catalog

6. Import all the folders and files from that catalog into the main catalog

7. Some properties may get lost in this process

The good news is that the old catalog still exists and nothing really get lost.

!!! Important is that both catalogs have the images exclusive.


Workshop Member
Roger, I don't know if this will help you but when I read it I thought of your post. .
Thank you..I knew I had seen something on this . What a bummer its an acknowledged bug in the release(read down in the comments) when you import the 2nd catalog the program aborts rather than highlighting the conflict .

Adobe has promised a fix in a new release until then I guess I will use two catalogs...not such a big deal but its nice to be able to pull a collection across the full body of work . A few extra steps until then.