Alphonse Pinart (1852 – 1911) ambled through adolescence without direction until he met Charles Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg at the 1867 World Fair in Paris. He was inspired to pursue a career in ethnology, though not in the same line as Brasseur. Whereas Brasseur keenly focused on Central American ethnohistory, Pinart preferred the languages of the Pacific ocean, from North America to the Indonesian islands.
Pinart authored several papers and books in the course of his studies. He also amassed a considerable collection of documents in addition to Brasseur’s library which passed to him upon Brasseur’s death. Pinart never expanded upon Brasseur’s efforts. Pinart fell into financial ruin and sold his—and therefore Brasseur’s—collection in 1884.