It's possible that you catalog is corrupt. Please take a look here:
I'll think the only way is to restore a backup of your catalog
Thanks Axel for your quick reply. I read your two links, and I had a blackout. Not sure if Lightroom was open. It says that if the catalog is corrupted that I would get a message telling me that it is corrupted. Further, the link says that there is an option to fix a corruption. Are you saying that this might not be the case and the best would be to restore?
Your message shows a Correct Answer star, any idea who placed it? I am not saying that the answer is not correct, I am just wondering as I am not aware that I clicked the button and I at this stage I have not tried to restore the backup. I would appreciate if you could get back to me once again. Thanks Margret
Normally you get a message when the catalog is corrupt and you can try to fix it in Lightroom as in one of the links is descripted.
But I'm not sure that you get in all cases a appropriate message.
So try to repair you catalog as described. To restore the catalog from a backup is the fastest to solve your issue.
Another point that you can check is that you open the correct catalog file. It could be that you're open an empty catalog or Lightroom has create a new one. Where is your catalog file with all photos saved? When it is stored on an external drive, is the drive connected? Try to search in the Windows Explorer or Mac's Finder after .lrcat files.
The "Correct Answer" is a button and is automatically in every post. With this button you can mark the appropriate answer as an correct answer and at the same time your question was marked as "Answered".
If the correct number of images are showing in All Photographs then they are not gone, Lightroom still thinks they are in place.
A couple of things:
1. Check the setting in the Library menu bar for "Show Photos in Subfolders" to make sure it is checked. If it's not, check it and look at the Folders panel again.
2. If it is still checked, use the Library menu command to Find All Missing Photographs. Report the result back here (give us the total for All Photographs, and the total for All Missing Photographs).
Hi Jim, I followed your advice and BINGO!!! All my photos are back. As I have a large numbers of older photos on an external drive, I always have photos shown as missing until I connect to the external drive. "Show Photos in Subfolders" had not been checked and once I checked it, all the photo became visible :-). How it got unchecked, I have no idea.
Thanks heaps, Jim. And Alex, if all would have failed, I am sure the backup would have worked as well, though this was less painful.