Found some notes from last year. I'll make edits to this post as I come across problems or better techniques. Feel free to comment, criticize or recommend. These are just rough notes.
To develop an efficient procedure for compiling a photo collection.
Numerous storage devices with images, many copies and backups mixed in with originals, edited copies, and Lightroom catalogs.
Move all images into a single, organized, folder
Use a single Lightroom catalog for editing, sharing
1) Locate all Lightroom catalogs and consolidate (copy to a new location) all photos edited in Lightroom into a single new catalog. (With a folder structure of Photos/Year/Month/Occasion.)
2) Use a program like Photo2folders or BreezeBrowser and/or Downloader Pro to copy every available image file to a second location, without copying exact duplicates. (With a folder structure of AllPhotos/Year/Month/Day)
3) Use a program like Visipics or Visual Similarity Duplicate Finder Pro (VSDFP) to remove duplicates from the AllPhotos folder.
4) Set Photos and AllPhotos for periodic backups locally and with Carbonite or Mozy.
5) In Lightroom, Import (copy) small batches from the AllPhotos folder to the Photos folder. (Maybe rename AllPhotos folders that have been imported?)
6) For each batch, use Lightroom to cull, edit, and publish the photos.
7) Newly found photos will be checked (using VSDFP) against the AllPhotos folder and, if they aren't duplicates, moved into the folder.
8) Before erasing any photos from other locations, they'll be checked to make sure they are in the AllPhotos folder.
9) In the future, try to do more culling (deleting obviously unwanted photos) as photos are moved from the camera into the AllPhotos folder.