There is probably a million things you will want to study up (these are MaxScript Help topics):
[li]File Name Parsning[/li][li]BMP Interfaces[/li][li]3ds Max File Loading and Saving[/li][list]
[/list]You will also probably want to look at setting up sort of “preview” rendering mechanism, something that can scan a bunch of files and produce your thumbnails for you automatically, or a means by which you can add new files (ie, select a file, generate preview and then have those files added to your repository…)
Depending on your version of max, a good understanding of the UI will also be required. If possible, I’d suggest DotNet…
Personally, I’d also have a long hard look at XML, it would make a much better format for meta data and would be quicker to parse then scanning through a bunch of folders…but thats just me.