Organisational dependence upon IT continues to grow yet experiences of satisfaction vary widely. Problematic, aged IT is often cited as being a fundamental problem in this respect and this is commonly termed legacy information systems. However, in this paper the author offers an alternative, and arguably more comprehensive, theory of legacy information systems that accommodates multiple viewpoints and recognises its inherent dynamism. The paper suggests a theory of legacy information systems that comprises of the concepts of temporal effects, interpretations and characteristics. It is argued that legacy information systems are constructed of many ‘legacies’ that are handed down continuously, forming an amorphous set of sociotechnical interdependencies and relationships.