If a work is within the public domain, there are no copyright ownership issues associated with it.
This is because the work was either never eligible for copyright protection OR, the term of copyright protection has expired.
Therefore, anyone may reproduce, redistribute, or adapt the work and there is no longer a need to seek permission for its use.
On January 1, 2022, a wealth of material fell into the public domain in the US-everything published in 1926. For help searching for this material, check out our HathiTrust guide: