You have to find your catalog file, and then open that catalog file by double-clicking on it. You shouldn't have to "get them back into Lightroom", they are already imported into Lightroom.
Unfortunately, Adobe had to patch in and strip out every item relating to Adobe, then we reloaded it almost as new, so I'm not sure I've got a catalog file. Where would I find it
OK, I see what you're talking about, but there is nothing in the Catalog file, just one batch of new photos
Find it via Time Machine
The catalog file in Time Machine should be dated before the reloading of your operating system, do you have such a file? It's name ends with .LRCAT
Unfortunately, I was able to reload LR but not Photoshop as part of the CC. Apparently there was a migration problem, so Adobe wiped the computer clean of everything related to Adobe, and we started from scratch, so I'm not sure where I would look, and if I brought something back from Time Machine .
Adobe couldn't have possibly wiped Time Machine
I'm not a Mac user, so I can't give you directions on how to find things in Time Machine. You either can use a search engine to find the instructions, or wait until someone with Mac knowledge comes along.
Oh, do you have other backups of your catalog file? (If not, you need to start immediately making such backups, no excuses)
I have the photos on the hard drive and the card. So I'm OK there. LR won't import them either from the hard drive or the card.
If bring back the backed up version, then what happens to the photos I downloaded recently?
I'll ask a Mac support guy about this because the issue started with them.
By the way, thank you very much
If you find the backed up catalog, you're great. You've got everything. You lose nothing. But you have to find it — and then we can explain what to do next
By the way, if Adobe "wiped the computer clean of everything related to Adobe", did they even offer to help you restore your Lightroom catalog and photos? I've heard some very bad stories about Adobe tech support, if they didn't take this additional step, well ... that goes to the top of the list of bad stories
They did make that help available from another customer service agent, so I may pursue that on Monday.
This is still Apple's fault
I assume you have your time machine backup on a separate drive ?
If so connect the drive and then open Finder select the drive from the right hand side panel and then in the Search box do a search for lrcat
That should produce a list of files that will include your old Time Machine back up.
The Catalogue is called "Lightroom Catalogue.lrcat" on my iMac its in the Pictures/Lightroom folder.
Make a note of the folder where the file is.
Then in Applications double click Time Machine .app
This will start time machine and display a finder window. Slide the timeline scroller to the date of your last good backup
Using this window then click on the folder that contains your old catalogue then select the catalogue .
With the catalogue selected click the Restore button at the bottom of the window.
This will restore your last saved catalogue.