Accidentally partially deleted wrong iphoto library, iphoto won't recognised external HD copy

I'm trying to free up some space on my MacBook OS X 10.5.8. with only 9.27GB free space left. I work a lot with images/graphics.
As iphoto is the main space guzzler at 33.84GB, I was planning to move the iphoto library onto my external HD and access it from there. I now keep HD connected as my portable HD2 has started to develop problems.
First hiccup: when I copied iphoto library from Macbook to HD, an unreadable files alert popped up with 170 in the list. I did this the other day. I left it there to solve another day.  Coming back to it today, I opened it up to test it and it seemed fine other than the alert popping up again. I was trying to work out what the files referred to (files ending in ....cache...ithmb) so I could identify the problem files but it's all just a bit beyond me.
I was going to just delete that version and go through the process again using the sound info on this forum but doh! I only went and trashed the main iphoto library didn't I? I'd already started emptying the trash when I realised so I stopped the deletion immediately.
When I view Show Package Contents I can see that the most recent original 2012 photos are gone but they are in the modified folder ( I have other copies saved so that's not a huge problem) but  I can't really tell yet what's else further back might have been deleted.  Anyway I thought that if I pointed iphoto to the copied library on my HD that would be fine but it won't open it. I can highlight it and click on OPEN but nothing happens. when I look at the Package Contents it only goes up to the Cache folder, no library or other images.
What can I do to clean up this mess, have iphoto on HD so my macbook can run smoothly again! NB with my most recent accidental deletion I now have 13.31GB free.
Baby steps help appreciated!!

No, unfortunately. He has a 320gb HD and a 307gb library. However, that post reflects all of the symptoms we had. I'll check it out. Thank you!
If substituting "Old Masters" for "Masters" does not help, there is not much hope to fix this. The iPhoto Library First Aid Tools did not work in the previous similar cases.
The best option would be to restore the library from the most recent backup.  Otherwise you can only copy the "Old Masters" out of the library and reimport them to iPhoto into a new library and essentially start over. IPhoto has no tools to connect missing original image files to the edited versions like Aperture has.

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