You can copy the backed up catalog (the catalog that contained all edits) on your hard drive and relocate the missing images with their new location.
You can refer this article to relocate images : Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Help | Locate missing photos
I will check this out, thank you for the article.
Can I merge edits though from multiple catalogs? How does that work?
Okay, well this is bad.
I started with a 'Master' Lightroom catalogue and imported my other catalog files from there, ones at different years. It's telling me though there are however many new photos to import, when I know they aren't new. I click to not import photos, just the metadata. Well that doesn't help either, says there's a problem importing the file. Or when trying another catalog files (there are multiple ones) it doesn't do all the changes to the photos I know are there.
Is there someone I can call to discuss this issue?
When you choose to import from another catalog, it offers you option to whether replace the metadata, or preserve your old settings and import the new ones as virtual copies which you can choose.
You can contact us directly through this link : Adobe Support
What I found is that I couldn't reimport the catalogs as they were (that had the metadata changes) back into my Master Catalog file (that linked to my photos) as they were. What I had to do was take my backup catalog files and relink them to the same photo files that my Master Catalog was pointed to. This was a whole lot of work due to having to link each photo by 'day grouping' and no ability in Lightroom to batch process link through the root folder (year, instead of day). I put this in as a feature request.
Thank you for answering my questions.