Until recently I had a fairly large iPhoto 09 library running on my old white macbook (around 14,000 pictures). The machine got waterlogged and is no longer serviceable but the hard disc was recovered. I've now got a new macbook pro upgraded to OS X Lion and iPhoto 11 and I'm all set to build a new library. I want to keep the new library as clean as possible so my question is which files to instal and which not to?

On the recovered hard disc is a pictures folder which contains all of my original jpeg photos organised into folders by occasion (e.g. France 2005, Wedding 2004 etc.). In each of these there is also a 'thumbs.db' file. On top of this is a folder called iPhoto Library which seems to contain all of the same pictures but divided into sub folders by 'Modified', 'Originals', 'Recovered Photos', 'iPod Photo Cache', 'Data' (with sub folders divided into years and then each of those into 'Roll 145', 'Roll 146' and so on).

I'd really like to keep my broad organisation in the new iPhoto library (e.g. France 2005) but the rolls don't really serve a purpose any more, likewise the years because I capture that myself. Can I just delete the old iPhoto Library folder and create the library using my originals organised by their folders? In the same way, can I delete the 'thumbs.db' indexes from each of these folders as I assume iPhoto 11 will just create its own.

Further to this, I have another big folder of 5000 unorganised photos that I've been storing to my PC while waiting to get hooked up with another Mac. I want to organise these into folders too but would rather do that through iPhoto's interface rather than manually. Can I just point iPhoto at the folder or should I organise it first (don't want to create lots of duplicates).

Last but not least. My wife and I are now running a macbook and macbook air respectively (both OS X Lion and iPhoto 11). Can we store the actual photo files on an external hard disc and connect to it independently (via USB 2.0, I assume wirelessly will be too slow) and see the same organisation through our respective copies of iPhoto 11? This would include seeing any edits each other had made each new time we hook up.

Long first post (sorry!) but any help would be appreciated as I'm really keen to get this right!

Thank you in advance,