Abstract Projectile fragmentation and fission, induced in collisions of 238U at 1 A GeV with lead, have systematically been studied. A complete survey on the isotopic production cross sections of all elements between vanadium ( Z = 23) and rhenium ( Z = 75) down to a cross section of 0.1 mb is given. About 600 isotopes produced in fragmentation and about 600 isotopes produced in fission were identified in the GSI fragment separator FRS from magnetic rigidities, time-of-flight values, and the energy loss in an ionisation chamber. In addition, the velocity distributions of all these reaction products have been mapped, and the products are unambiguously attributed to the different reaction mechanisms due to their kinematical properties. The results are compared with empirical systematics and previous data. The velocity of the fragments obtained in the fission process by the Coulomb repulsion allows one to reconstruct the TKE-value of the break-up and to identify the atomic number of the fissioning nucleus in hot fission. The mean velocities of light projectile fragments were found to be higher than the beam velocity.