In a first for the institution, a collection of 232 images and illustrations from their archives will go on sale at Christie’s.

You grew up reading the magazines and staring at the beautiful photography, and now in a first for the National Geographic Society, 232 of its iconic photographs and illustrations (out of the archives that span 11.5 million images) will be auctioned at Christie’s. ‘The Art of Exploration’ features historic and contemporary pieces including the image of an Afghan girl from 1984 by Steve McCurry.

Many famous photographers have lent their talent to the publication over the years, but some of the photography is from less well known staff members. National Geographic kept the work of its staff for its own use and prevented the images from coming to market before now. The lot is expected to fetch over $3 million, which will go towards maintaining the archives and nurturing emerging photographers and artists. Click through to see some of the many images up for auction this month:

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