My image archive is about 50,000 images which includes everything from little digicam jpgs to 1Gb layered Tiffs.
Has anyone tried creating a single library on this scale and if so, does it kill performance?
Maybe I should be creating multiple libraries... I'd rather not if possible.
1 GB layered tiffs are pretty big. Think about it; Lightroom is really a substitute for ACR+Bridge -- would it make sense to throw a 1 GB TIFF at ACR? Sure, one is RAW, one is TIFF, but think about design constraints.
On to more practical matters... I heard a few people that were intimately involved with the pre-alphas, alphas, and betas say that LR currently started to slow down around the 10,000 images in the library mark. That the hope was to eventually hit a million images, but that for now, 10,000 was where it practically started to slow (how much, I didn't test). So I think if you're looking at 10 or 20 thousand, it's no big deal. If you're thinking 50K to 100K then you'll start to strain it. Then again, LR now is following in Aperture's footsteps a bit -- use it to cull your images. Few people have 50,000 *good* images -- use it to separate the wheat from the chaff so to say. I culled 6000 shots down to 2500 in Antartica with Aperture, and others did the same with LR.