Lightroom Classic Database Problem?

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I've discovered a problem that I would appreciate some help with.

Back in 1973, we took a week in Tintagel and it never stopped raining. We returned home, waited a week, and then went to sunny Scarborough for a week. The OM-1 images have been scanned, edited in Photoshop and saved to Lightroom as 16bit uncompressed TIFFs. I think they were imported to one folder, renamed and keyworded. Later, they were split into two separate folders, one for Tintagel and one for Scarborough. No problems there, then.

Today (about 3 years later), I notice a problem. When I perform a Text search on Any Searchable Field for Scarborough, the Tintagel ones are also returned. Similarly, a search on Tintagel also returns the Scarborough images.

The keyword Tintagel is not assigned to the Scarborough set, and vice versa. There are no Captions, Locations or anything else to be seen that could cause this. ExifTool confirms to me that the word Tintagel does not exist in any of the Scarborough images, and vice versa.

Note: Only the Any Searchable Field option causes this to happen - all the other search option work as expected.

I tend to conclude the error is with the Lightroom catalog file, but how to fix it?

Lightroom Classic version: 8.2.1 [ 1206193 ] / macOS 10.14 Mojave.
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Michael Naylor

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  • Concerned the problem could get worse.

Posted 1 month ago

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Bob Smith

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I believe Any Searchable Field includes the path as well.  Could it be that both names appear somewhere in the path above the folder where the images are actually stored?

Bob Smith
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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You could also have a Keyword Synonym configured but Bob's suggestion of Path is a good one. 
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"ExifTool confirms to me that the word Tintagel does not exist in any of the Scarborough images, and vice versa."

It's possible some other metadata field contains the errant words.  ExifTool will only show catalog metadata if you've done the command Metadata > Save Metadata To File or you've enabled Catalog Settings > Metadata > Automatically Write Changes Into XMP.  It's also remotely possible a plugin has stored those words in a searchable field that's not written back to the file (and thus not visible to ExifTool).

If the file path isn't the culprit, you could download the free plugin Show Metadata and install it following steps similar to these instructions.  Then select a photo and do File > Plug-in Extras > Show, and a window will open containing all the catalog metadata for that photo.  Copy and paste the results into a text editor or word processor and search for "Tintagel".
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Not sure why the OP has not reported back here, but in the Lightroomqueen forums he mentioned that he found the answer. The name of a collection is also a searchable field, and the images were in a collection with both words in them.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Yeah, given the number of searchable metadata fields and the number of "hidden" fields (parent folders, collections and sets, ancestor keywords, synonyms, etc.), it can be hard to track down why a photo matches. That's one of the reasons I made the Show Metadata plugin available -- it quickly identifies which field contains the matching strings.
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Michael Naylor

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Sorry for not getting back to this forum, but I didn't receive any email notifications.  Yes, my problem is solved.  Lightroom was also looking the names of Collections.  I realised this makes perfect sense - now.