Frances Liddell

Working Title of PhD: The Digital Lives of Cultural Objects: Blockchain and data-driven decision making in the cultural sector


  • Dr Kostas Arvanitis
  • Dr Guyda Armstrong
  • Ian Lindsay, National Museums Liverpool

Overview of PhD

I am working on a collaborative project with the National Museums Liverpool to explore how we can implement blockchain technology to cultivate collective ownership and enchainment between the museum and its audiences. Blockchain is often only considered as a digital money infrastructure. This research seeks to demonstrate how the technology can be used beyond this monetary approach and highlight how blockchain can be used to form social value for the museum through collective ownership.

Taking a shared authority approach, the project therefore asks whether and how blockchain-enabled objects (also known as cryptocollectibles or non-fungible tokens (NFTs)) can be used as a way to highlight the different narratives of a museum object and help to build a stronger sense of community between the museum and the different stakeholders of an object.

The key themes of my research include ownership and psychological ownership, shared and open authority, and authenticity.


On completing my BA (Hons) in History of Art & Visual Studies here at the University of Manchester, I continued my studies with the MA in Arts Management, Policy and Practice. My dissertation explored the concerns and opportunities of an OpenGLAM policy for the arts sector, for which my PhD is a development from this idea. My interests are in internet culture, digital heritage and blockchain technology.


  • ‘Blockchain and the Museum: Turning Digital Fragmentation into Social Value’, DCDC 19 Conference, 13th-14th November 2019, Birmingham UK
  • ‘Could Blockchain Change the Nature of Ownership in the Museum?’, Museum and the Web (MW20) Conference 2020 (Virtual), 31st March – 4th April 2020
  • ‘Tokens of Connection: Exploring How Cryptocollectibles Can Be Made Meaningful’, Exploring Blockchain in the Cultural Sector Conference (Virtual), 16th October 2020.  



Twitter: @FrancesLiddell