From what you describe, it would seem that you have created a new catalog. Was this your intention? It's normally best to work with a single catalog. From the Lightroom menu, go to File->Open Recent and see if you can locate your original Lightroom 5 catalog. Choose it and you should be able to be back to where you were before.
I do not mean to be picky about a fine product.
But this was a strange crash. It occurred when I stupidly attempted to make a collection set that contained some processed images by Corel Paintshop X6 along with Lightroom processed images. I wanted a better erase or clones of parts of the image. I believe there is a problem with doing that, even though there should not. My intention now is Lightroom 6 - and leave it at that. To use Photoshop Elements 13 would add a learning burden. Beside PagePlus X8 does some fine cutout of images for me - so I do not need Corel. But lightroom does not have a decent capability of removing portions of an image and making a clone of he background.
Will Lightroom 6 have the capability of cloning a part of the image with the background.
Now - there is so much to learn. Here is what I did not know could happen. I went to my backup files and clicked on .ircat and it loaded up a restored Lightroom. Is this a normal mode, and if so I can find that capability no where. Is this what you mean by creating a new catalog, and I skipped several steps and found my original collection.
Problem is solved. And thanks for responding.
JimHess you corrected the problem, thanks
Lightroom is the default program to start .lrcat files. I suppose it is safe to say that the catalog is the Lightroom document. Lightroom has the capability through the catalog to display images. But all of the work done in Lightroom is stored in the catalog. Since .lrcat is the default file for Lightroom, double-clicking on any catalog file will automatically start Lightroom and load that file, the same as double-clicking on a Word document will start Microsoft Word. Just to reiterate and emphasize, in Lightroom you are working in a catalog which is a database. That database enables you to display images and see the adjustments you are making to the images. But all the adjustments and all the work that you do in Lightroom is being stored in the catalog. Lightroom is usually configured to open the last opened catalog. So to go back to the main catalog that you have been using you can either use the File->Open Recent option in the Lightroom menu, or double-click on your main catalog.