Matt Kloskowksi travels the world teaching people how to integrate their photography and Lightroom. He writes a blog at which features tips, tutorials, and weekly content about how to improve your Lightroom workflow.

Catalog questions always seem to be at the top of everyone’s list. So this week I’ve covered one that I get a lot. It deals with merging catalogs. A good example would be if you’ve got one catalog for professional work and then maybe one catalog for your personal photos. But you decide at some point you want to merge them together into one. I’ll show you how you can merge both catalogs into either one of them or how to create a brand new catalog and merge the others into it. Enjoy.

Share & Enjoy


  1. Goodluckingkk (Reply) on Tuesday November 23, 2010

    Matt, tks from a snowy little EU bankrupt country, Ireland …:)

  2. Paul (Reply) on Tuesday November 23, 2010

    Hi Matt
    Thanks for the info. What happens if I have two catalogs with nearly the same contents, and I want to bring them together and want to avoid duplicates?

  3. Jack Larson (Reply) on Tuesday November 23, 2010

    Victoria Bampton’s book also is excellent on this. That’s what I used last week when I needed to do this.

  4. Peter Raymond (Reply) on Tuesday November 23, 2010

    Thank very good tip.

    Beginning of video needs editing out of the false starts

  5. Bernhard (Reply) on Tuesday November 23, 2010

    Hi matt,

    is there any way to merge also things like publishing services? I have an “all Images” catalog and another one for the “current year”. The latter has publishing services. I want to change my strategy to a “one catalog for all”. Thereby I would like to import the publishing services as well. But I cannot find a way how to do this.


  6. Jerry Winfrey (Reply) on Tuesday November 23, 2010

    This works for imports based on folders, but what if I have a collection drawn from multiple folders? If I have 100 images from 50 folders containing 100,000 images, my work-around has been to export the collection as a catalog, then import the new catalog. When you do the catalog import, create a new collection from the recently imported and you have it.

  7. thual (Reply) on Tuesday November 23, 2010

    Hi, Thanks for the tutorial.
    I’m using multiple catalogs : I make one catalog per year.
    Rather simple I think. What do you think ?

  8. Essex Wedding Photography (Reply) on Tuesday November 23, 2010

    Hi Matt thanks for this info great stuff as always

  9. Brett Gilmour (Reply) on Tuesday November 23, 2010

    I’ve been trying to merge catalogs and keep having the same problem; my ratings using stars are lost in the catalog being imported. Does this method preserve the ratings?

    Thanks and keep sharing.

  10. Corinna (Reply) on Tuesday November 23, 2010

    When proceeding the way you explained, is the history preserved? I’ve lost history previously, but don^t know whether I did the merging correctly.

Planet Photoshop Photoshop World KelbyOne Lightroom Killer Tips Scott Kelby