Shoebox stores photo information in catalogs. When you launch Shoebox for the first time, a new catalog is created for you. If you work with different groups of photos that you would like to keep separate (such as work and vacation photos), you can create multiple catalogs.
Each Shoebox catalog has a "pictures folder" where most of its photos are stored. The default is ~/Pictures, but you can choose a different folder in the Catalog preferences. Regardless of your choice, catalogs can include photos in any folder. (Keeping all your photos in the chosen pictures folder make it easier to move them to a different disk or computer later.)
You can set a password for a catalog in the Catalog preferences. To open a password-protected catalog, you must enter the correct password. Passwords can be added to the Keychain (but if the Keychain is unlocked, the password won't be required).
If you check "Secret catalog", the catalog will not remember your browser history, selected items, recent searches, recent folders, or expanded categories. Shoebox will not automatically open secret catalogs, or include them in the recent catalogs menu (except the main catalog).
Creating a new catalog
To create a new catalog, choose File ▶ New Catalog. Choose a name and location for the catalog. The default catalog is stored in ~/Library/Application Support/Shoebox, so that's a good place to store other catalogs.
If the pictures that you would like to add to your catalog are in a folder besides ~/Pictures, choose "Other..." from the pictures folder popup menu and choose a different folder.
You can also type in a password for the new catalog and/or mark it as a secret catalog.
Opening a catalog
To open another catalog, choose File ▶ Open Catalog. You can only open one catalog at a time.
Or, choose a catalog from the File ▶ Open Recent menu. This a convenient way of switching back and forth between catalogs. To remove all the catalogs in the list, choose Clear Menu.